Pharmaceutical systems research

Pharmaceutical systems research addresses questions such as the organisation and funding of pharmaceutical systems, major policies  (e.g. related to pricing, reimbursement, rational use of medicines and distribution), key actors (e.g. authorities, stakeholders) and implementation procedures. Cross-country pharmaceutical systems research helps improve the comparability of pharmaceutical systems of different countries, in terms of affordability, efficiency and quality, and thus supports pharmaceutical policy analysis.

Activities and deliverables

The Pharmacoeconomics Department has been contributing to international pharmaceutical systems research by developing methodological foundations to understand basic concepts of pharmaceutical systems and policies, with a focus on pricing and reimbursement, and to make them comparable.


Glosario de
términos farmaceuticos

  For further information, including an online search in the English
  glossary and glossaries in different languages see here.

Template to describe national PPRI (in Russian)

  Reporting systems
  For further information, including templates for national PPRI
  Pharma Profiles see here.


Taxonomy of Pharmaceutical Health Information System (PHIS) indicators

  For further information, including a set of macro-indicators see here.


Over the years, templates to describe national PPRI systems developed by the Department’s experts have been used by several authorities to report their country pharmaceutical systems, see:

In our work with international networks, such as in supporting the establishment of new regional PPRI networks (such as the EECA PPRI network), templates to describe pharmaceutical systems have been adapted to specific needs of the groups and were then shared for further use.

In order to enable the comparison of pharmaceutical system information, the Pharmacoeconomics Department produced cross-country comparisons of pharmaceutical systems (e.g. the PPRI report (2008), the WHO report on medicines reimbursement policies in Europe (2018) and book chapters such as ‘Pharmaceutical Pricing in Europe’ (2015) and ‘Market Access, Reimbursement and Price Regulation of new on-patent medicines in the European Union (2018, in German).

Geographic scope: Experts of the Department have particularly expertise in pharmaceutical system information in the WHO European region (53 countries, including Central Asia), but also collaborate with other regions (e.g. adapting PPRI tools such as the templates to describe pharmaceutical systems to other regions in the course of their support for networks.