The Value of New Pharmaceuticals

In the final report for the programme, Professor Bengt Jönsson and Katarina Steen Carlsson, PhD, summed up the most important conclusions from the programme.

They noted that new, innovative medicines can provide health benefits to patients as well as socioeconomic benefits through shorter waiting times and lower rates of absence from work due to illness. But today’s system for pricing and evaluating new medicines has shortcomings that impede the effective use of medicines in health care. New medicines have become more expensive to develop and more difficult to use. A faster, more orderly introduction of new medicines is important both for more effective medicine use in health care and to establish better conditions for clinical pharmaceutical research in Sweden.

New medicines must have a better chance

  • The authors present several proposals to establish better conditions for developing, introducing and evaluating new medicines in Swedish health care:
  • Abolish price controls. Abolish state price controls and apply a payment system that takes into account the different values a medicine has depending on what illness is treated.
  • A state budget for new medicines. Finance new, innovative medicines with a state budget and monitor the effects with systematic analysis.
  • National coordination. Coordinate resources for evaluation and introduction of innovative medicines at the national level.


The programme started with a preliminary study, published in 2011. Subsequent reports were carried out in three phases. After this, empirical studies were made of the effects of introducing new, innovative medicines in the therapy areas of breast cancer, leukaemia and diabetes, which were presented in five reports.

Following this, a series of reports focusing on policy were published:

The Value of Pharmaceutical Innovation

Researchers: Frank Lichtenberg, Columbia University, and Billie Pettersson, MSD.

The Evaluation and Implementation of New Medicines

With Examples from Cancer Treatment. Researchers: Bengt Jönsson, Stockholm School of Economics, and Nils Wilking, Karolinska Institutet.

Regional Differences in the Use of Medicines

Researchers: Mats Brommels, Johan Hansson, Emma Granström and Emma Wåhlin, Karolinska Institutet.

New Medicines and Medicine-Related Illness

Researchers: Hanna Gyllensten, Nordic School of Public Health, NHV, and Katarina Steen Carlsson, IHE.

Medicines: When is It Reasonable for Individuals to Pay?

Researchers: Per Carlsson and Gustav Tinghög, Linköping University.

The Value of Quality Registers in Health Care

Researchers: Joakim Ramsberg and Martin Neovius, Karolinska Institutet.

The final report, The Value of New Medicines, was presented in November 2013. Researchers: Bengt Jönsson, Stockholm School of Economics, and Katarina Steen Carlsson, IHE.
Research director in charge: Göran Arvidsson.