Controlling Pharmaceutical Expenditure and Improving Efficiency within the Spanish Pharmaceutical Market

Macro- and micro-level policy approaches

June 2017

Controlling pharmaceutical expenditure and improving efficiency

In 2017, a national audit of Spain’s pharmaceutical sector activities took a highly critical view of the current pricing and reimbursement system within Spain. The evaluation and subsequent pricing of new technologies was found to lack both consistency and transparency. Further, there has been an apparent unwillingness to apply and implement legislation on the use of economic evaluation in the pricing and reimbursement of medicines.

Given the concerns raised over efficiency in the decision-making process within Spain, and the concerns over the ability of Spain to promote efficiency under the recent budget cap, this brief addresses the following research questions: 

1) What are they key drivers of pharmaceutical expenditure in Spain?

2) What is the impact of the recently implemented micro- and macro-level policies (including the budget capping policy) in Spain?

3) Given macro-economic budget caps and other constraints, how can Spain promote greater efficiency within its pharmaceutical sector?

This brief was prepared through collaboration between the London School of Economics - LSE Health (LSEH) and the Centre for Research in Health and Economics (CRES), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Client: Gilead Sciences

Authors: Dr Panos Kanavos, Mackenzie Mills, and Jane Cheatley (LSE Health), and Dr Guillem Lopez, Dr Anton Mangeaneli, Dr Laia Maynou, and Miquel Serra (CRES, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

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