Health Reform and Drug Financing. Selected Topics - Health Economics and Drugs Series, No. 006
(1998; 49 pages) [French] [Spanish]
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Close this folder2. Financing reforms
View the document2.1 Public financing though general revenues
View the document2.2 Health insurance
View the document2.3 User charges
View the document2.4 Voluntary and other local financing
View the document2.5 Donor financing and drug donations
View the document2.6 Development loans
Open this folder and view contents3. Affordability and efficiency
Open this folder and view contents4. Organizational reforms
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

2. Financing reforms

Changing financing mechanisms within the health sector is not a goal of reform but is one possible component. Reform measures in this area should not be adopted as part of a formula but should be chosen so as to best meet the objectives of the health sector.

Criteria should be used to evaluate drug financing options and some are listed in Table 2.

Table 2. Criteria to evaluate drug financing mechanisms

Feasibility measures

Outcome measures

Financial viability and sustainability: Can the mechanism generate enough resources over the long-term?

Equity: Does the mechanism promote universal access to essential drugs?

Institutional/administrative requirements: What institutional and/or managerial elements are required for the mechanism to be successful?

Efficiency: For the resources invested, is the maximum health benefit obtained?

Acceptability: What is the public and political acceptability of the mechanism?

Rational use: Does the financial mechanism encourage appropriate prescribing and use of pharmaceuticals?

Adapted from Refs. [23] Cha. 40, and [39].

There are several alternatives available for financing pharmaceuticals and these are basically the same as those for financing health services. Six different options are discussed below but a wide number of variations exist. Many health systems adopt a pluralistic approach to health and pharmaceutical financing. It is the responsibility of the government to choose and manage financing alternatives so as to ensure that public health objectives are met.

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