Romania on the last place in EU for medical drugs consumption

Romania is at the bottom of a European ranking regarding the consumption of medical drugs per capita, but not because they are healthier, but due to the precarious access to therapeutic solutions, according to the Trade Union of Industrial Medical Drugs Producers in Romania (PRIMER).

The organisation found that the pharmaceutical market in Romania reached about RON 12 billion in 2017 at producer price, which represents a 4 percent growth from the previous year.

At the same time, the market share of domestic medicine producers has significantly decreased over the past 10 years, from around 40 percent in 2006 to 23 percent in 2016.

The budget allocation for medicine subsidies was RON 6 billion in 2017, meaning under EUR 75 per capita, the lowest allocation in the European Union.

PRIMER says this allocation has remained unchanged since 2011, “although the need for medicines is around RON 8 billion. The rest up to RON 12 billion is paid out of pocket by patients and producers through the clawback tax.”

The price of medical drugs in Romania has been frozen since 2015 at the lowest level in the EU, and a 25 percent clawback tax also applies to the price, due to which over 2,000 cheap medical drugs have disappeared in the last three years, producers claim. Patients now have to buy the more expensive alternative, and that leaves the impression that the prices have increased.

The over-the-counter medicine and supplements market is around 25 percent of the total market, a lot lower than the European average of 35-45 percent. This shows that for these kinds of drugs, too, Romania is among the last places in the EU, due to the insufficient access to alternative treatment and care solutions.