The welfare effects of innovative pharmaceuticals: an international perspective from the Dutch experience.

Apostolos Tsiachristas†, René Goudriaan*, Wim Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Policy discussions on new medicines are often focused on cost containment rather than on the benefits they produce, such as health gains and cost savings in other sectors. In this study, we identify systematic differences in policies towards pharmaceuticals between countries and calculate the welfare gains of 39 innovative pharmaceuticals introduced in the Dutch market after 1997. Welfare gains are defined as the difference between the value of a QALY gained by innovative pharmaceuticals and their costs. The review shows that there are systematic differences among pharmaceutical policies and regulations between countries. It is further found that the welfare gains of pharmaceuticals are substantial and amount to €77 per capita per year in the Netherlands. The welfare gains could be higher if institutional barriers for an efficient utilization of innovative pharmaceuticals are removed. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1226
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2013


  • COST control
  • DRUG development -- Economic aspects
  • PUBLIC welfare
  • economic evaluation
  • innovative pharmaceuticals
  • pharmaceutical policy
  • welfare effects

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