The topics discussed here are those to which economic methods are most relevant. Quantification has been studied in depth elsewhere (4). Utilization is an area of research that is now expanding fast (5). It is discussed here only with regard to the economic aspects of prescribing. The main aspects of pharmaceutical supply are therefore examined as follows: selection (Chapter 1), procurement (Chapter 2), distribution (Chapter 3), and prescribing (Chapter 4).
The links between the pharmaceutical supply system, the financing system and the information system are studied with regard to each aspect. Each is examined under three headings: What are the objectives? What processes allow these objectives to be attained? What structures and organizational arrangements are needed to carry out these processes and attain these objectives?