Large amounts of health care money are spent on drugs, and these amounts are increasing. Spending more on drugs could mean less money for hospitals, doctors or even other non-health care services. There is therefore a pressure to control the costs of drugs, without decreasing health benefits. A number of pharmaceutical policies are used in different health care systems but the relative benefits and harms are unknown. This study has undertaken a suite of systematic reviews using Cochrane systematic review methods to address this uncertainty.
Four reviews have been completed (reference pricing, restriction on reimbursements, prescribing policies and co-payments). Based on the evidence from the reference pricing review, reference drug pricing can reduce third party drug expenditures by inducing a shift in drug use towards less expensive drugs. There was no evidence of adverse effects on health and no clear evidence of increased health care utilisation.
Craig Ramsay; email@example.com
Green, C. J., MacLure, M, Fortin, P. M., and Ramsay, C. R. Pharmaceutical policies: effects of restrictions on reimbursement. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, 8 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008654.
Sturm, H, Austvoll-Dahlgren, A, Aaserud, M, Oxman, A. D., Ramsay, C., Vernby, A, and Kosters, J. P. Pharmaceutical policies: effects of financial incentives for prescribers. Cochrance Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, 3 Art. No.: CD006731. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006731.
Aaserud, M, Dahlgren, A, Kosters, J. P, Oxman, A. D., Ramsay, C., and Sturm, H. Pharmaceutical policies: effects of reference pricing, other pricing, and purchasing policies. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 2 Art. No.: CD005979. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005979.