Drug prices compared across Latvia, Poland, Germany and the UK

LTV's Forbidden Method (Aizliegtais paņēmiens) show has investigated the price differences between Over The Counter (OTC) medication within four EU member states.

Latvians like to think they pay among the highest prices in Europe for their medication, but is the feeling backed up by the evidence?

It turns out most of these generic drugs are cheapest in Poland, while the offer in the UK is cheap, but often the ingredients of the medication is not as concentrated as in the other states. 

The show compared the price of five popular medicines in Latvia, Poland, Germany and the UK, choosing identical products if possible and finding the nearest analogue if not. 

1. Ibuprofen anti-inflammatory medication

Latvia

  • Rīga's Apotheka pharmacy
  • Ibumetin 400, manufacturer: Takeda, Estonia. 10 pills.
  • Price for a package: €1.89, one pill costs €0.19

Poland

  • Słubice's Jedynka.
  • Ibuprom (closest analogue). Locally manufactured. 400 mg. 12 pills.
  • Price for a package: €2,17, one pill costs €0.18.

Germany

  • A pharmacy in Hanover.
  • Ibutop 400 (closest analogue). Locally manufactured. 20 pills.
  • Price for a package: €3.12, one pill costs €0,15.

UK

  • Cambridge's Boots.
  • Manufactured for the retail chain. 200. 16 pills.
  • Price for a package: €1.86, one pill costs €0,11.

The prices are similar, but the price is highest in Latvia.

2. Prospan cough syrup

Latvia

  • Prospan syrup, 100 ml. Manufactured by Germany's Engelhard.
  • Price: €7.86.

Poland

  • Prospan syrup, 100 ml. Manufactured by Germany's Engelhard.
  • Price: €3.90.

Germany

  • Prospan syrup, 100 ml. Manufactured by Germany's Engelhard.
  • Price: €7.97.

The UK

  • Boots syrup (closest analogue), 100 ml. The main ingredient is different from Prospan's.
  • Price: €4.20.

The price is similar in Latvia and Germany, but for some reason it's twice as cheap in Poland.

3. Paracetamol syrup for children

Latvia

  • 100 ml package. 120 mg of paracetamol for 5 ml of syrup.
  • Price: €3.37.

Poland

  • Paracetamol Galena syrup, locally manufactured, 100 ml. 120 mg of paracetamol for 5 ml of syrup.
  • Price: €2.24.

Germany

  • Local manufacturer. 100 ml package, 120 mg of paracetamol for 5 ml of syrup.
  • Price: €4.80.

The UK

  • Boots syrup. 100 ml. 120 mg of paracetamol for 5 ml of syrup.
  • Price: €2.93.

Cheapest in Poland, priciest in Germany which has the more potent syrup. Latvia ranks second. 

4. Omeprazole for gastric distress

Latvia

  • Omeprazols, manufactured by Slovenia's Sandoz. 20 pills, 20 mg per pill.
  • Price for a package: €3.45, price per pill: €0.25.

Poland

  • Ortanol Max Omeprazol by Sandoz. 14 pills, 20 mg per pill.
  • Price per pill: €0.24.

Germany

  • Omep Hexal. 14 pills, 20 mg per pill.
  • Price per pill: €0.85

The UK

  • Acid Reflux by Boots. 14 pills, 10 mg per pill.
  • Price per pill: €0.78.

These drugs cost about the same in Latvia as in Poland and are considerably more expensive in the UK and Germany.

Generic heart drug

Latvia

  • Aspirin Cardio, Bayer. 28 pills, 100 mg per pill.
  • Price per package: €3.28, price per pill €0.11.

Poland

  • Aspirin Cardio, Bayer. 28 pills, 100 mg per pill.
  • Price per pill €0.12.

Germany

  • Aspirin Protect by Bayer (an analogue). 98 pills per package.
  • Price per pill €0.12.

The UK

  • An analogue from Boots. 100 pills, 75 mg per pill.
  • Price per pill €0.02.

These drugs are cheapest in the UK, while Poland ranks second. 

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles
Health
Society