Proportion of spending on brand name drugs continues to rise in Germany

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 22 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5185
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Brand name drugs accounted for more than 40% of Germany’s public insurance drug budget in 2009, up from 10% in 1993, a new report has shown.

    The report says that patent protected drugs accounted for €13.2bn (£11.2bn, $17.3bn) (41%) of the €32bn drug budget in Germany in 2009. In 1993 they accounted for €1.6bn (10%) of the €16bn budget.

    Ulrich Schwabe, co-editor of the report and professor emeritus of pharmacology at the University of Heidelberg, has called on politicians to take legislative action to break the upward trend in German drug costs, which he says are the highest in Europe.

    Speaking at a press briefing in Berlin on 14 September to launch the report, he said that €9.4bn of the total €32.4bn spent on drugs in 2009 could have been avoided if German prices fell to Swedish levels.

    Professor Schwabe told the BMJ that he compared German prices with those in Sweden because Swedish prices, which are in the lower third of …

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