IFHP STUDY EXAMINES VARIATION IN PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES AROUND THE GLOBE
Report Provides Actual Prices of Common Medical Services, Procedures & Specialty Drugs
Across Seven Countries
NEW YORK, July 19, 2016 – The International Federation of Health Plans (iFHP) today released its 2015 Comparative Price Report, detailing its annual survey of medical prices per unit. Designed to showcase the variation in healthcare prices around the world, the report examines the price of medical procedures, tests, scans and treatments in seven countries. Similar to recent years, the survey also shows the extreme pricing discrepancy for seven specialty prescription drugs.
While medical procedure costs vary or are relatively level across countries, there are large disparities in prescription and specialty drugs prices. Prescription pain medication, OxyContin, cost only $36 in Spain, but jumps to an average cost of $265 in the United States and $590 in the United Kingdom.
Other known drugs such as Truvada, prescribed for treating HIV/AIDS, cost less than $1,000 in Spain, United Kingdom and Switzerland, but cost an average $1,290 in the United States. Similarly, Humira, a drug prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis has prices ranging from $552 in South Africa to an average $2,669 in the United States.
iFHP’s Chief Executive Tom Sackville explained why he believedthe data to be important.
“We look at these numbers every year and it’s always a shocking demonstration of how much procedures and prescription drugs actually cost,” he said. “There is no reason why identical procedures and products should vary in price so much across countries: it illustrates the damaging effects of an inadequately regulated healthcare market.”
Prices examined in the study included those from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. The data for the report was gathered from participating iFHP member organizations in each country. Prices for the United States were derived from over 370 million medical claims and over 170 million pharmacy claims that reflect prices negotiated and paid to health care providers.
The iFHP was founded in 1972 by a group of health plan industry leaders, and is now the leading global network of the industry, with more than 80 member companies across 25 countries. iFHP aims to assist in the maintenance of high ethical and professional standards throughout the industry.
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