Shock treatment for French health insurance system

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 05 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:840

Stringent measures to redress the ailing French health insurance system were announced last week by Jacques Barrot, minister of labour and social affairs. They include increased taxes on tobacco and alcohol and authorisation for pharmacists to substitute generic drugs when doctors have prescribed brand names.

The move follows the announcement of a huge deficit in the social security system, which provides health insurance, retirement, maternity, and other benefits. The deficit will reach Fr50bn (£6.25bn; $10bn) for 1996, instead of …

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