THE sessions of the Seminar of Social Studies on Health and Medicines of the University Carlos III de Madrid (March 1995) were devoted to review the influence of the new economic environment and the changing international economy on health services, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the markets for medicines. In recent times world economic conditions have changed significantly and with them the environment and the structure of health systems and the pharmaceutical sector. Papers and conclusions of the Madrid meeting are collected in this book.
The first part is dedicated to identify the more important changes taking place in the global economic environment and to the constraints set by economic policies and the new role of the public sector and the Welfare State. The framework for international trade established by GATT in the Uruguay Round and regional economic integration, both with important consequences for the health services and the Pharmaceutical Industry, are covered too the first part.
The subject of the second part of the book (corresponds to the second session of the Seminar) is the implications for medicines of the reform of health systems in developed and developing countries. The purpose is to offer an overview of health reforms and how they are changing the markets for medicines and the distribution of functions between the public and the private sectors. New international regulations and agreements that involve medicines are also considered.
The structural changes taking place in the Pharmaceutical Industry are the particular interest of the third part of the book. A chapter giving an overview of this subject opens the section. Two more chapters dealing with the effect of new technologies, specifically biotechnology, and the development of generic markets follow.
The last session was dedicated to a general debate of the issues already analyzed and to obtain a set of conclusions presented at the end of this volume.