Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Economics

Publication Date





1219 - 1226