In recent years almost all governments in Europe have been forced to consider cost containment strategies when facing deficits in health budgets. An inadequate redistribution of costs may influence the quality of the provision of medical care. Our objective is to examine how patient charges influence the decision making of consumers and physicians in the case of pharmaceutical expenditure. Our approach differs from earlier studies, which are mainly based on time-series estimations, in the following ways: we conduct an in-depth analysis of the influence of various patient charge systems on decision making. We use a disease specific approach. We study the decision making of both physicians and consumers in order to describe the main determinants directing drug demand and their reactions to various reimbursement policy schemes. Our research proceeds through five distinctive analytical phases from a macro study of drug use in six EU Member States to judgement analysis of how patient charges influence consumer and physician decisions.
|Effective start/end date||01.04.1998 → 31.03.2001|