Statement |

Price discounts (Switzerland) and best offers from originator companies and generic companies, a rough estimate

Methodology used

On company offers

In order to obtain accurate information on discounted price offers by originator companies, all companies were contacted and asked to verify their offers. Manufacturers were asked to provide information on the following:

  • Drug, dosage and pharmaceutical form
  • Price per unit (or daily dose) of different price offers
  • Restrictions that apply to the offers including country eligibility, potential beneficiaries of the offer, additional comments on conditions or procedures such as quantity restrictions, how to access discounts, bureaucratic procedures such as memoranda of understanding or special agreements, delivery of goods in relation to payment

The annual cost of therapy was calculated according to the dosing schedules reported in WHO’s “scaling up Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource Limited Settings: Guidelines for a Public Health Approach”:

Prices quoted and currency conversion rate used were established on the date the offer was made (e.g: June 2002 price for Nelfinavir is different from that of November 2002 due to exchange rate variation between Swiss Franc and US Dollar).

All companies checked and confirmed the prices they offered.

On retail prices in France and Switzerland

The retail prices are those published in the compendia (VAT excluded in Switzerland, VAT included in France).

It is important to note that the “best offer” prices from the companies do not correspond to the end-user prices (i.e. prices to patients), which are further influenced by other factors such as transport costs, handling charges, national mark-up rates, national and/or import and sales taxes (if applicable) and national health policies.

Because of the difficulty of getting wholesale prices for pharmaceutical products, we compared the “best offer” price for a drug with its retail price in Switzerland and France. Figures should not be isolated from this context.

Although the comparison is biased, due to the use of two methods of price calculation, it shows the discount trend between the different drugs and companies.