Abstract and Keywords
Government-run or -regulated health care systems have adopted complex systems of economic regulation to control pharmaceutical expenditures, which are generally an ad hoc mix of historical policies. There has, however, been a substantial increase in the number of third-party payers using formal cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) or pharmacoeconomic approaches for assessing the value of drugs, vaccines, and other health technologies to inform decisions about pricing, reimbursement, and use within their health care systems. This article explores the theoretical and practical issues that have arisen in the application of CEA for drugs to resource allocation decisions in health care and in the regulation of pharmaceutical prices and use. It begins by outlining the evolution of CEA from the practice of health technology assessment.
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