The role of pharmaceutical expenditure

28 November 2018 - 13:00 - 14:30

This oxford style roundtable debate will allow for participants to discuss and decide where they stand on key questions regularly raised on the role of pharmaceutical expenditure in the sustainability of healthcare systems across the EU. Whilst some argue that the rise of healthcare expenditure is linked to medicines and pharmaceutical innovations, others are now demonstrating that  the net proportion of healthcare expenditure spent on medicines is actually decreasing. What side are you on?

This event is part of Friends of Europe’s Health and Wellbeing programme, which focuses on how the obstacles of vested interests and short-term political thinking can be overcome in the difficult transition to new healthcare models and systems – and how these new systems can be financed.


Welcome and registration of participants


The sustainability of healthcare systems across the European Union is under increasing pressure and scrutiny by taxpayers, and sources such as OECD data suggest that healthcare expenditure is rising with an expected growth rate of around 3% by 2030. While pharmaceutical innovations have the potential to improve patients’ life expectancy and quality of life, they also pose challenges to public health systems, including financial stability, post-market surveillance as well as patient access and affordability. 

However, publicly available data and related forecasts on pharmaceuticals do not paint a comprehensive picture of the situation: new analysis shows that pharmaceutical net expenditure is expected to grow at a sustainable rate of 1.5%. This suggests that the proportion of healthcare expenditure spent on medicines is actually decreasing.

  • Are medicine prices a risk for healthcare systems?
  • What would pharmaceutical forecasts look like if they were adjusted to  rebates and discounts on drug prices that national healthcare systems negotiate with the industry?
  • How would such these discounts and rebates influence healthcare systems, the pharmaceutical industry and health technology assessment agencies? 
  • What can societies gain from investing in new pharmaceuticals?

Moderated by:
Tamsin Rose
, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe


End of debate







This event is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Sarah Bentz.

Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 23

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Event starts
28 November