Introduction: Croatia has introduced a number of reforms to contain pharmaceutical expenditure whilst increasing access to new medicines. These include new regulations and new ordinances in 2013 including the pricing of new medicines and lowering the price of generics. Aims: Describe changes in the 2013 ordinance for new and established medicines in Croatia and the potential savings to provide future guidance. Methods: Descriptive review of the new ordinances for pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals and calculations of potential savings from the various initiatives. Results: There were changes in the ordinance for the pricing of new medicines in Croatia including the order of reference priced countries. There were also changes in the pricing of biosimilars as well as comparator levels with other countries. Projections show that with the new ordinance, ambulatory care expenditure for the 54 product groups (internal reference price system) will be reduced by 9.64% (Kunas 318.4 million) and prices of medicines lowered by 8% to 10% based on external reference pricing following changes in the order of referenced price countries. Conclusion: This paper demonstrates that changes in the reference pricing system can lead to considerable differences in overall reimbursed expenditure. In addition, European countries with smaller populations can be active with introducing a variety of measures to keep pharmaceutical expenditure under control whilst increasing access to new medicines. Further reforms will be needed to improve the quality of prescribing. It is also likely further ordinances will be needed to keep pharmaceutical expenditure under control.
- Reference pricing