NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Drug Prices Vary In Developed Countries

October 9, 2000

While the prices of some prescription drugs are lower in Canada than in the U.S., as a percent of gross domestic product, Canada and the United States spend about the same percentage -- roughly 1.5 percent of GDP.

According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

  • Greece, Portugal and France spend more, proportionally, on pharmaceuticals than the U.S. and Canada -- roughly 2 percent or more of GDP.
  • Switzerland and Australia, by contrast, spend less than 1 percent of GDP on drugs.
  • And Sweden and the United Kingdom spend around 1 percent of GDP on drugs.

Source: James Frogue, "A High Price For Patients: An Update On Government Health Care In Britain And Canada," Backgrounder No.1398, September 26, 2000, Heritage Foundation.


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