Medbelle's Medicine Price Index compares costs and deviation from the global median to reveal the prices worldwide

The UK ranked 21 out of 50 countries in the 2019 Medicine Price Index which reveals the differences in cost of some of the most widely recognised and indispensable medications.

The drugs cost 4.98 per cent more than the global median in the UK, according to the report published today by digital healthcare provider Medbelle.

The index compares costs and deviation from the global median and highlights a disparity in what patients pay for the same medicine across the world.

The United States has the most expensive medication in the world with a 306 per cent deviation from median price followed by Germany and UAE, with medicine costs 125 and 122 per cent more respectively.

Thailand and Kenya have the cheapest prices, which are 93 percent lower than the global median. Southeast Asian nations Malaysia and Indonesia follow closely with 90 percent lower priced medications.

Globally, there’s a huge disparity between the deviation for branded drugs and generic variants.  In the UK, while the branded drugs cost 20.85 per cent less from the median price, the generic versions cost over 470 per cent more than the global median.

The medication with the highest price deviation in the UK is epilepsy drug Lyrica (pregabalin), which costs 57.96 per cent more in the country than the global median price.

“There have been multiple studies on the cost of medicines, but never on such a scale as large and comparative as this. By indexing the costs of these medications around the world side-by-side, our study puts the great disparity of prices between them into sharp relief,” said Daniel Kolbo, co-founder and managing director at Medbelle.

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