In most nations, prescription medications accounted for the majority of pharmaceutical spending. Now, let’s take a look at the top countries that are spending heavily on pharmaceuticals.
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In comparison to other developed countries that are members of the OECD, the United States spends significantly more on pharmaceuticals.
After accounting for purchasing power parity, the average American spent $1,376 on pharmaceuticals in 2019, which is still 47 percent higher than the next-highest spender, Germany. This amount is approximately 2.5 times the OECD average of $571. With spending that was about 40% over average, at $811 and $803, respectively, Canada and Japan came in third and fourth, respectively. Mexico and Costa Rica were the OECD members who spent the least on medications, while numerous Eastern European and Scandinavian countries also had below-average expenditures.
In most nations, prescription medications accounted for the majority of pharmaceutical spending. Despite having significantly different overall expenditure levels, English-speaking countries on the list, such as the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, all had above-average spending on over-the-counter medications in common.
Government and government-mandated insurance accounted for 55% of total pharmaceutical spending in OECD countries, with Germany and France accounting for as much as 80%. In the United States, that figure was 70%. Out-of-pocket spending in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe frequently hovered around 50%, reaching as high as 97 percent in Costa Rica.
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