The increasing drug prices in Europe

Vytenis Andriukaitis

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Food Safety, and Carlos Moedas, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Science and Innovation, awarded the “Horizon Prize – Better Use of Antibiotics” and “The EU Health Awards for NGO’s fighting Antimicrobial Resistance” at a ceremony hold in Leuven. © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article was written by one of our passionate readers, Mrs Rachel Everly. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

Rising drug prices have not been a recent issue, it has always been a part and parcel of the medical expenses. Not only is the United States suffering through a spike in the prices of medicines, but European medical bills have taken a toll for the worse as well. Prior to that, Europe had refrained from huge raises in the prices and until 2011, the selling price of many prescription pills had been steadily low.

Since most of the European nations are funding the healthcare systems on a government level, it is only understandable that they would want to keep a close track of the pharmaceutical industry. Due to this reason, the European Pharmaceutical companies are known to work on laws and regulations that restrict them from increasing the prices of the medicines for more than once a year. The price, profits, and comparison of the prices with the international market were always screened and assessed throughout the year without adjusting the prices.

In 2011, many European countries saw a gradual rise in multiple medicines and the rates have been rising ever since, without any restriction. This will affect many consumers and the fee structure of their individual health plans. To counter this problem, European Parliament’s environment Committee (ENVI) is favoring a non-legislative proposition that will strive for making these products more widespread in the European region. However, this must not be confused with an actual law being added in the region’s policies, as it is merely a resolution waiting to be approved by the authorities. With time, it may be considered and the European Union may only then choose to implement it.

The price of specific drugs has been a matter of huge concern for the public. Looking at the prices of those medicines in the previous years has shown an increase in prices for as much as over 1000%. Drugs that are used for leukemia patients have an increased price of 1225%, while tamoxifen, which is used primarily for breast cancer has risen by 1080% from 2011 to 2016. A chemotherapy drug has seen a spike of 1500% but later was fined for 5 million euros for an illegal increase in the price.

Charges of relatively new drugs that have little to no competition are also in the race for increasing their prices up to stupendous amounts. Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer treatment drugs are hiking due to lack of competition and insurance companies and pharmacy beneficiaries are losing against keeping these companies at bay.

The setting not only destabilizes the people who are insured but deeply affects the people who chose not to be insured or cannot afford healthcare. Previously, a person who could not have afforded to have themselves operated could find comfort in medicines. The same is not the case anymore and medical prescription drugs have become even more unattainable than before for many uninsured people out there. Seniors who have retired and do not have an insurance plan can also be looking at paying higher prices than they have previously been paying.

It has been debated for more than one year that the prices of the drugs do not represent the true cost of its production. It is concluded that the price of its manufacturing is far lower than the price label put on the product.  Most of these increments in prices have more to do with profits for these drug manufacturing companies and little to do with the increasing demands and lack of supply. To counter any research and development aspect of a new drug and decrease its cost, the patient-driven research is promoted. This means that the patient can sponsor the research and have the cure developed and tested.

Another speculation that has also been made is that due to the fact that they are only allowed to raise the costs once a year. This has made the marketers overly cautious and in order to withstand any possible demand and supply problem, or a price hike in the global market, they increase their rates by a huge percentage.

In order to provide a safer and more affordable plan for the healthcare system, the government, the people, and the drug manufacturers must work together. More and more efforts have been put on by EU health ministers in 2016 to warn the pharmaceuticals to lower the prices down as it has created a market that is highly unapproachable.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

Featured Stings

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

European Youth Vlog

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Bank resolutions and recapitalisations by the ESM may end up politically swayed

Inflation down to 0.7%, unemployment up at 12.2%: Bad omens for Eurozone

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

“The winner is who can accelerate the transition to a new digital era”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015: a Digital Europe 4.0

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Are ECB’s €500 billion enough to revive Eurozone? Will the banks pass it to the real economy?

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

Matthias in Canada

Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

German banks suffer of nausea amidst rough seas

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

Travel the world, find yourself

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

How Greece was destroyed

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “There is a communication issue (about China) which markets don’t like” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF stresses from Davos

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

MWC 2016 LIVE: Stripe gives payments leg-up to startups in emerging markets

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Germany to re-invent its security position in Europe and a chaotic world

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

A new arrangement between Eurozone’s haves and have-nots

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

MWC 2016 LIVE: Intel focuses on 5G “beyond the Powerpoint”

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

Is the West gradually losing Africa?

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] The cost of new medical technologies and drugs remains the primary cause of the high rate of medical inflation: this is why a discussion at European level with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations is still open: drug pricing is at the top of the bill. […]

  2. […] Il costo di nuove tecnologie e medicinali rimane la causa principale dell’aumento dei tassi di inflazione medica: questo è il motivo per cui a livello europeo è in corso una discussione con l’Associazione Europea delle Compagnie Farmaceutiche. Il punto principale dell’agenda è sempre quello: il continuo aumento dei medicinali. […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s