Orphan Drugs in Europe: A Snapshot

125 medicines for rare diseases were approved by the EMA between 2004 and 2014, of which 71 were granted orphan drug status. This chart shows the availability of 112 of these drugs across European countries.

The largest number of medicines for rare diseases were in continuous use in Germany and the UK, where 102 (91%) and 95 (85%) medicines were used, respectively. The total number of medicines available is shown as a number at the top of each bar.


 

Taken from the same study, this chart shows expenditure on orphan and non-orphan medicines in Europe during the same time period.

The expenses for medicines for rare diseases increased each year when new medicines were approved across all countries, except for Greece, where the expenditure decreased after 2011. The largest pharmaceutical expenditures per inhabitant for medicines for rare diseases were observed in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Belgium throughout the study period. In 2014, the expenditure for the medicines available amounted to €31.9/inhabitant in Germany and €27.0/inhabitant in Switzerland. Greece had the lowest expenditure for medicines for rare diseases in 2014, which was €0.2/inhabitant for medicines in retail sales only.

The total expenditures for medicines for rare diseases were allocated differently for orphan and non-orphan medicines among the countries. The proportion of resources spent on orphan medicines in 2014 represented between 33% (Czech Republic and Poland) and 63% (Ireland) of the total expenditure on medicines for rare diseases.

Similar Facts and Figures