WHO urges European Countries to work together to counter rising drug costs

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March 27, 2015 | By Márcio Barra

Kalydeco, a new orphan drug priced at over US$300,000 per year

A new study released today by the WHO Regional Office for Europe provides an in depth look at the challenges faced by European Member States health systems by the introduction of new, costly therapeutic entities, and the troubling economic burden they bring to the Member States.

As an array of new drugs reach Europe, healthcare expenditure with new drugs is increasing at an accelerated pace. Some of new, costlier drugs include Gilead’s Hepatitis C drug Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), orphan drugs with prohibitive price tags, and new anti-cancer agents costing $6,000-10,000 a month.

The report’s main takeaway message is that European governments need to cooperate and encourage collaboration between payers on standards and criteria for evaluation of benefits and cost–efficiency of new medicines, seeing as some member states do not have mechanisms in place to evaluate…

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