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The OECD project on pharmaceutical pricing policy has taken a close look at the evolving market for pharmaceutical products and the ways in which pricing policies serve to shape that market, yielding a number of conclusions. As tools for meeting a range of pharmaceutical policy objectives, the approaches most widely used in OECD countries to arrive at prices for pharmaceuticals ‐ external and internal price referencing ‐ are problematic in a number of respects. International price benchmarking (or external referencing) is readily gameable by the pharmaceutical industry and ‐ by reducing firms' willingness to price to market ‐ contributes to access and affordability problems in the lower‐income OECD countries, some of which spend close to a third of their health‐care resources on pharmaceuticals.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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