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Regulatory ambivalence and the limitations of pharmaceutical policy in Spain

Broadly speaking, pharmaceutical policy in Spain has been unable to control either the price or the volume of drugs prescribed. Limited attempts have been made to bring together the regulation of the pharmaceutical market and policies, in pursuit of the desired goals of efficiency and quality. This paper assesses the regulation of the Spanish pharmaceutical market over the last two decades by examining regulation and policy and the available empirical evidence on their appreciable effects, and presents recommendations for policy design. Our findings suggest that policies aiming to improve efficiency and quality have not managed to contain costs, while cost-effectiveness is still overlooked. We argue that future policies should encourage broader participation in the decision-making processes and promote a higher degree of competition, especially from generic drugs.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics with number 762.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfses:762
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  1. Guillem López & Joan Costa-Font & Ivan Planas, 2004. "Diversity and regional inequalities: Assessing the outcomes of the Spanish 'System of Health Care Services'," Economics Working Papers 745, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Puig-Junoy, Jaume, 2004. "Incentives and pharmaceutical reimbursement reforms in Spain," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 149-165, February.
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