Incentives and Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Reforms in Spain
UPF Economics and Business Working Paper No. 679
40 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2003
Date Written: April 20, 2003
The aim of this paper is to assess whether cost-containment has been affected by recent pharmaceutical reimbursement reforms that have been introduced in the Spanish health care system over the period 1996-2002, under the conservative Popular Party government. Four main reimbursement policies can be observed in the Spanish pharmaceutical market after 1996, each of them largely unintegrated with the other three. First, a second supplementary negative list of excluded pharmaceutical products was introduced in 1998. Second, a reference pricing system was introduced in December 2000, with annual updating and enlargement. Third, the pharmacies' payment system has moved from the traditional set margin on the consumer price to a margin that varies according to the consumer price of the product, the generic status of the product, and the volume of sales by pharmacies. And fourth, general agreements between the government and the industry have been reached with cost containment objectives. In the final section of this paper we present an overall assessment of the impact of these pharmaceutical reimbursement policies on the behaviour of the agents in the pharmaceutical market.
Keywords: Spanish health care system, negative list, reference pricing, pharmacy reimbursement, pharmaceutical industry
JEL Classification: I18, H5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation