Open Access

Price differentials of oral triptans in eight European Union countries

  • Pietro Folino-Gallo,
  • Fabio Palazzo,
  • Giuseppe Stirparo,
  • Sergio De Filippis and
  • Paolo Martelletti
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches4:00013


Triptans are presently a milestone in the treatment of migraine patients. Because of their effectiveness and safety, they have radically improved migraine treatment but their use has meant a substantial increase in spending for medicines. We thus compared retail prices of triptans in eight European Union member states to establish the existence and the amount of price differentials. We found wide price differentials between countries (from 83% to 140%) and within countries, where they attained 191% in Belgium. The least and most expensive products differed from country to country. These differentials mean that the most cost-effective triptans differ from country to country and this can be an important source of variation in the treatment of migraineurs. A better-harmonised European system of pricing could limit these unethical variations.

Key words MigraineTriptansPricesEuropean Union