Prescription Drug Prices in France

HEHS-94-200R: Published: Aug 12, 1994. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined differences in prescription drug prices in the United States and France. GAO noted that: (1) drug price studies show that the prices for prescription drugs in France are significantly lower than the prices for comparable drugs in the United States and other countries; (2) the studies' methodology problems make precise comparison of the countries' drug prices difficult; (3) most of the studies do not include comparisons among generic drugs which could lessen price differentials; (4) although France has restrained drug prices through government regulation, it is unclear whether a similar approach in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is desirable; and (5) foreign price controls have not restrained spending for prescription drugs and may have adversely affected pharmaceutical research and development in France.

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