Education And Debate

First consider the overall process of care

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 02 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:906
  1. J C Petrie

    The description of Bochner et al's method deserves critical scrutiny as the subject of drug rationing raises important issues. The argument to ration drugs is based on the wish to obtain the greatest benefit for most patients for each dollar spent on drugs. This premise requires rigorous examination before local drug rationing is applied. Have the authors ensured that they have obtained full value for the money that they spend on drugs and on care services before implementing their rationing policy for drugs? In some health services, for each pounds sterling 100 spent on drugs as little as 15% of value may be obtained.

    The price of individual drug entities is only one factor - and a minor factor - in the overall costs of the process of care. Should health professionals not act as advocates to ensure that essential drugs …

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