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An increasing number of European countries use pharmacoeconomic evaluations of innovative medicines in their pricing and reimbursement decisions, e.g. France, the Netherlands, Belgium, U.K., Sweden and Germany. These studies may be conducted by using different techniques from varying viewpoints. However, they do not take into account the wider effects of cost cutting measures upon the availability of medical alternatives and further pharmaceutical research. Firstly, it is not known in advance whether an innovative substance will be a blockbuster or a me-too drug. Moreover, due to different side effects, it is necessary to have more than one drug for specific indications. Secondly, health care policy is inseparable from economic policy in shaping the industry structure of the pharmaceutical industry. Lower spending for drugs may lead to less research in certain indications. Furthermore, lower spending for drugs which have been invented and developed within Europe may result in deprivation of pharmaceutical and medical know-how, for example, for conducting clinical studies. It is, thus, necessary to also include these effects in pharmacoeconomic evaluations.
Oehlrich, M. (2011). The growing role of pharmacoeconomic evaluations and their impact on the European pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceuticals Policy and Law, 13. 29–40.