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Price and purity information (PPP)

Overview text

Tables include data from the EU Member States, Croatia, Turkey and Norway and the graphic include data from the EU Member States and Norway.

The following tables are included in the bulletin, giving information for countries which provided 2008 data.

The tables in this section provide an overview of drug prices at retail level, drug purity/potency for major drug types of interest in 2008 (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and LSD) and data on the contents of illicit drug tablets: synthetic scheduled illicit drugs – i.e. drugs controlled under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances Schedules I and II and under European legislation (Council Decisions), submitted by the reporting countries in 2008.

Tables PPP-1 to PPP-4 show reported drug prices at retail level by country, where data are available, for the major drug types of interest in 2008. Part (i) of each table gives minimum, maximum, mean and modal (typical) prices in euros for 2008 and Part (ii) of the table gives the names of the sources of information of the data provided in Part (i).

Tables PPP-5 to PPP-8 show reported drug purity/potency (where available: see Part (iii)) by country, where data are available, for the major drug types of interest in 2008. Part (i) of each table gives minimum, maximum, mean and modal (typical) purity/potency in percent for 2008; Part (ii) of the table gives the sources of information of the data provided in Part (i); and Part (iii) of the table gives information on the type of sampling and the type of study, as well as purity determined to the base/salt in tables PPP-6 and PPP-7, both of which affect data provided in Part (i).

Figure PPP-1 shows reported information on national street-level prices for each drug in the EU Member States and Norway, weighted by country population sizes to form an overall EU trend. Prices have been adjusted for national inflation rates (base year 2003) and all series indexed to a base of 100 in 2003.

Summary points

Cannabis

  • The mean retail price of cannabis resin ranges from EUR 3 to EUR 10 per gram, with middle half of the values between EUR 6 and EUR 9. For herbal cannabis, the mean retail price ranged between EUR 3 and EUR 16, with the middle half of values ranging from EUR 5 to EUR 9 (see Table PPP-1).
  • In 2008, the reported mean of THC content of resin by country ranged from 3 % to 16 %. That of herbal cannabis, excluding home-grown Sinsemilla/Nederwiet in the Netherlands, ranged from 1 % to 10 % (see Table PPP-5).

Heroin

  • The retail price of brown heroin continued to be higher in the Nordic countries than the rest of Europe, while for the remaining reporting countries price ranged between EUR 25 and EUR 80 per gram. Over the period 2003–08, of the 9 European countries reporting time trends the retail price of brown heroin, corrected for inflation, fell in four and increased in five. The price of white heroin is reported only by a few European countries and ranged between EUR 24 and EUR 213 per gram (see Table PPP-2).
  • In 2008, for most reporting countries the mean purity of brown heroin tested ranged between 15 % and 30 %, although values under 15 % were reported in France (11 %), Austria (11 %), and Turkey (7%) and higher values by Bulgaria (31 %), Portugal (32 %), Romania (43 %), and Norway (31 %). The mean purity of white heroin was generally higher (30–50 %) in the few European countries reporting data (see Table PPP-6).

Cocaine

  • In 2008, 27 countries reported, and the mean retail price of cocaine varied between EUR 37 and EUR 107 per gram, with half of the countries reporting mean values between EUR 50 and EUR 70 (see Table PPP-3). For those countries reporting sufficient data, the price of cocaine, corrected for inflation, sold on the streets has become cheaper between the years 2003 and 2008.
  • The mean purity of cocaine in Europe ranged between 13 % and 62 % in 2008 (see Table PPP-7). Most countries report a decline in the purity of cocaine over the period 2003–08, with the exception of Spain and Portugal.

Amphetamine

  • In 2008, the mean retail price of amphetamine ranged between EUR 9 and EUR 19 a gram for over half of the seventeen reporting countries (see Table PPP-4). Amphetamine retail prices decreased or remained stable in all 13 countries reporting data over the period 2003–08, except in Spain where they dropped to a record low in 2008 after increases in previous years.
  • The purity of amphetamine samples intercepted in 2008 varied widely across reporting countries and to such an extent that any comment on purity values must be made with caution. Nevertheless, mean purity of samples ranged from less than 10 % in Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Croatia and Turkey to greater than 25 % in Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and Norway (see Table PPP-8). Over the past five years, the purity of amphetamine has been stable or falling in most of those 17 countries where sufficient data is available to allow an analysis of trends.

Methamphetamine

  • In 2008, the limited data available suggest that the mean purity of methamphetamine ranged between 22 %, reported for the Netherlands, and 80 % for Belgium (see Table PPP-8). In the few countries reporting the mean retail price of the drug, it varied from EUR 12 (Latvia) to EUR 126 (United Kingdom) per gram in 2008 (see Table PPP-4).

Ecstasy

  • Of the 11 countries for which data was available, the modal MDMA content of ecstasy tablets tested in 2008 was between 5 and 72 mg. In addition, high-dose ecstasy tablets containing over 130 mg of MDMA were reported by several countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Norway) (see Table PPP-8). No clear medium-term trend is observable in the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets.
  • Ecstasy is now considerably cheaper than in the 1990s when it became widely available. As in previous years there are reports of tablets being sold for less than EUR 2, however most countries are reporting mean retail prices in the range of EUR 4–10 per tablet (see Table PPP-4), and the data available for 2003–08 suggest that the retail price (adjusted for inflation) has continued to fall in Europe.

Hallucinogenic substances

  • LSD retail prices (adjusted for inflation) have remained stable or slightly declining since 2003 (see Figure PPP-1), and in 2008 the mean value ranged between EUR 5 and EUR 12 per unit for the majority of the 13 reporting European countries (see Table PPP-4).

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Page last updated: Thursday, 01 July 2010