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By: Decision Resources Inc

In: The SAGE Handbook of Healthcare

Chapter 11: Pharmaceutical Pricing, Reimbursement, and Prescribing in the United Kingdom

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Pharmaceutical Pricing, Reimbursement, and Prescribing in the United Kingdom
Pharmaceutical pricing, reimbursement, and prescribing in the United Kingdom
Introduction

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 ...

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