6. Managing Medicines (1997)

Peter Davis, Buckingham; Philadelphia: Open University Press

Available on Trove

Medicines, and the policy issues they raise, are the subject of this book. Therapeutic drugs are widely used – some on routine basis, others in a highly selective and specialized fashion. Although we take the availability of such potent agents for granted, there stands behind them a complex and sophisticated system of scientific innovation, industrial production, state audit, and professional distribution. Major issues of price, innovation, safety, professional practice and consumer autonomy arise. Pharmaceuticals account for about ten per cent of health care costs, they are produced by a flagship industrial sector, they are jealously guarded by key professional groups, they raise formidable questions of quality and safety, and they are watched over by a vigilant and vociferous consumer movement. Managing Medicines seeks to disentangle these issues and come up with concrete suggestions as to how we might move forward in an area of public policy that is hotly disputed.