Pharmaceutical Pricing Policies in Norway and Sweden



This chapter provides an overview of the organization of pricing, reimbursement of medicines, and the organization of the pharmaceutical systems in the two Scandinavian countries Norway and Sweden. The two countries have many similarities; however, they have also chosen different roads in several aspects. Both countries have a comprehensive tax-based public health insurance covering health services for all inhabitants. This includes medicines provided to cure, alleviate or prevent diseases that have been judged to be in the interest of the public. Pricing of prescribed medicines is strictly regulated in the two countries. More than 70 % of the total pharmaceutical expenditures are paid by a public third-party payer. Both countries experienced dramatic increase in pharmaceutical expenditures in the early 1990s. This set off a series of reforms concerning the pricing and reimbursement of medicines. The fundamental principle for pricing of prescription medicines is maximum pricing at the retail level. Norway applies international reference pricing while Sweden’s pricing system is based on health economic evaluations. Pricing is tied to the process of marketing in Norway and to reimbursement in Sweden. Both countries have applied mandatory generic substitution for more than 10 years.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacySchool of PharmacyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of MedicineUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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