Single European Currency and Monetary Union: Macroeconomic Implications for Pharmaceutical Spending
This article examines the potential implications of introducing a single currency among the Member States of the European Union for national pharmaceutical prices and spending. In doing so, it provides a brief account of the direct effects of introducing a single currency on pharmaceutical business. These are static in nature and include the elimination of exchange rate volatility and transaction costs, increased price transparency and limited potential for parallel trade. It subsequently analyses the potential medium and long term macroeconomic policy choices facing the Member States and their impact on pharmaceutical spending following the introduction of a single currency. These include policy directions in order to meet the Maastricht convergence criteria in the run-up to forming an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the implications of EMU on national macroeconomic policy thereafter. This article argues that the necessity for tight fiscal policies across the EU and, in particular, in those Member States facing high budget deficits and overall debt levels, will continue to exert considerable downward pressure on pharmaceutical spending.
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