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Regulating Medicines in Europe: Competition, Expertise and Public Health

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7295.1187 (Published 12 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1187
  1. Joe Collier, clinical pharmacologist and professor of medicines policy
  1. St George's Hospital and Medical School, London

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    John Abraham, Graham Lewis

    Routledge, £17.99, pp 243

    ISBN 0 415 20878 5

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    Of all areas of health policy, it is probably the provision of medicines that has the highest level of public involvement. It is, after all, the one branch where patients deliver their own treatment and where a powerful external player (the pharmaceutical industry) heavily influences practice. Medicines also cost more than any other health “commodity”—prescribed drugs now account for around 13% of the total NHS budget. For reasons such as these (and to some extent in response to the thalidomide disaster), more than 30 years ago the UK government introduced legislative control of the provision of medicines (their manufacture, …

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