This monographic publication contributes to the debate about the relations between the agents intervening in the healthcare system (government authorities, Social Security, suppliers, private insurers, patients and pharmaceutical companies) and the health spending contention now being exercised in various European Union countries.
As part of the broader discussion on whether competition in health insurance and care delivery can improve efficiency and bring down costs only at the expense of equity and service quality, the book focuses on two particularly controversial aspects: namely, price regulation and drug co-payment in the pharmaceutical industry; and health market negotiation mechanisms (that is, the competitive relations between suppliers and payers).
It looks in depth at the economic background to alternative courses of action, and their implications in terms of demand elasticity and market interactions. Its findings, it is hoped, will provide solid theoretic grounds for the policymakers in charge of health system reform to construct expenditure control models based on formal economic thought as a means to optimize resources. This should lead to more robust policies that can maintain the efficiency of public healthcare without sacrificing equity or quality.