Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 22, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781848605985 | Print ISBN: 9781847870483 | Online ISBN: 9781848605985 | Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 11: Pharmaceutical Pricing, Reimbursement, and Prescribing in the United Kingdom
Pharmaceutical pricing, reimbursement, and prescribing in the United Kingdom In 1948, the United Kingdom established a pioneering universal healthcare system: the National Health Service (NHS). In the visionary words of its founders, the NHS was intended to offer all UK citizens comprehensive medical care “from the cradle to the grave.” The original concept was based on the principle that all healthcare provision -prescription medicines, primary care, dental and ophthalmic treatment, and hospitaliza-tion – should be free at the point of delivery. However, inexorably rising costs necessitated the progressive imposition of a range of patient copayments. In the 1960s, for example, the government introduced prescription charges in a bid to restrain the growth in NHS pharmaceutical expenditures. The United Kingdom is the world's fifth-largest market for prescription drugs and, thanks to a relatively liberal regulatory environment, one of the most accessible of all European markets in terms of product registration, price ...