Intended for healthcare professionals


French government wastes €15bn a year on useless drugs, book claims

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6241
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

Half of all drugs on the French market are useless, some can be harmful, and the state is wasting up to €15bn (£12bn; $20bn) a year paying for them, a book published by two leading French doctors claims.

Guide des 4000 Médicaments Utiles, Inutiles ou Dangereux (A Guide to 4000 Useful, Useless and Dangerous Medicines), published in France on 13 September, says that 50% of the drugs on the French market are useless and 5% are potentially dangerous and that, despite those facts, 75% are paid for by the social security system.1

Patients are being prescribed drugs that make no difference at all for conditions …

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