REVIEW – April 2023

Financing drugs in Estonia – time for change

Authors: Hanno Püttsepp, Jana Jaal, Kersti Oselin, Anneli Elme, Mariken Ross, Lise-Lotte Lääne, Ain Kaare, Kristiina Ojamaa, Helis Pokker, Vahur Valvere, Elen Vettus, Alan Altraja

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Poor health of the population of working age is one of the main factors that impedes economic growth globally, with Estonia being not an exception. In addition to people’s health behavior and the availability of medical personnel, the availability of modern treatment is of critical importance in improving the situation. Based on the data from a European study, only 41 of the 160 drugs approved by the European Agency of Medicines during the last four years have become available in Estonia and the average time until the drug is approved for reimbursement is 599 days here. In this regard, Estonia lags behind the European Union`s average and remains behind several economically weaker countries. According to the best available knowledge, in order to improve this situation, it is necessary to update the system of assessment of the Estonian healthcare technology and to link the drug reimbursement thresholds to the level of economic development.