In 1972 the Office of Health Economics produced a paper entitled Medical Care in Developing Countries. Drawing on both information available within the pharmaceutical industry and the writings of commentators such as King (1966), Bryant (1969), Abel-Smith (1967) and Gish (1971), the report argued that medical resource allocation in most developing countries was too heavily biased towards urban, hospital based, curative medicine, OHE noted that in many poor countries two thirds to three quarters of public health spending goes on hospitals.
This is the second in an occasional series of Pharmaceutical Industry Papers to be published by OHE. The first concerned prices; this second paper is concerned, by contrast, with the costs of pharmaceutical innovation.
This study by Keith Hartley and Alan Maynard is based on a survey which they conducted amongst major pharmaceutical companies in Britain during 1980. It clearly identifies costs arising from the 1968 Medicines Act, in terms of money, manpower and delays.
Of all forms of joint replacement operation, that for hips represents the most outstanding innovation. It is perhaps the major post-war surgical development and the key example of a technique which can radically improve quality of life at an acceptably low cost.
There have been substantial increases in all categories of professional manpower in the National Health Service since it was first established in 1949. This Briefing examines and discusses the trends for doctors, nurses and midwives. The data it presents relate mainly to England, but similar trends apply to Great Britain as a whole. The discussion draws attention to the balance in professional manpower between hospitals and the domiciliary services.
During the last 30 years the proportion of deaths occurring in childhood caused by accidents has risen from 21 to 30 per cent. This development is not, however, as disturbing as it might initially appear for it is more a reflection of the elimination of infectious diseases from childhood mortality patterns than an indication of trends in accidental fatalities. Over this period the latter have fallen, both in volume terms and as rates per million population aged 1-14 years, by between 40 and 50 per cent.
Absence from work stems from a variety of sources including industrial action, lateness and ill-health. Of these the latter is by far the most significant cause of lost working time: in 1978/79 there were 371 million days of absence due to certified incapacity, contrasting sharply with the contemporaneous loss of just over 15 million days arising from industrial injuries or prescribed diseases and the 9.4 million working days absorbed by industrial stoppages in the calendar year 1978.
The promotion of an environment in which the multinational research-based pharmaceutical industry can flourish has been and will continue to be reliant upon a well-informed and widely-disseminated understanding of the economics underpinning its complex operations. Throughout the 1970s OHE has played an important part in this 'educative' process with specific investigations into areas such as the nature of competition within the industry, the use of brand names in prescribing and the role of sales promotion.
Following a proposal originally made by the representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided late in 1976 that 1981 should be proclaimed the International Year of the Disabled Persons (IYDP). The UN’s intended aims for the year to include increasing global awareness of the abilities and the needs of disabled people; encouraging their fuller integration into their communities; improving preventative services; and stimulating ‘more positive’ attitudes generally.
In Europe, as in other developed countries, health expenditures have recently been rising proportionately faster than national wealth. Between 1960 and 1978 the percentage of gross national product spent on health care in the European Community rose from about 4.1 per cent to 7.3 per cent.
Produced easily by fermentation, ethyl alcohol has for at least 5 to 8 thousand years played a part in the development of human civilisation; as a medicine, as a substance endowed with religious significance, as a food and important element in many cuisines, as a fuel, as an economic good and as a disinhibiting/intoxicating drug used to aid social intercourse. It is in this last context that alcohol is most widely employed in the modern world.