The issue of health service planning regularly hits the headlines. In a speech delivered in October by the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens described a “mismatch between resources and patient needs of nearly £30 billion a year by 2020/21”.
This OHE Occasional Paper by Adrian Towse discusses Professor Bengt Jönsson’s observations in a 2011 publication about the role of relative effectiveness research (RE) in the European medicines market and how this could lead to improved efficiency in the development of medicines, the pricing and use of medicines, and of health systems.
Economic thinking and analysis can contribute greatly to designing and evaluating health care policy and practice. There is a growing need to improve the efficiency and sustainability of health care systems everywhere.
The cost of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom now exceeds £l,000m. per year. Ten years ago, when expenditure was less than half this amount, the cost of the Health Service was the source of continued public concern. Cost was "the one aspect of the National Health Service which, since its inception in 1948, has given rise to more critical discussion and controversy than any other single issue". The controversy has now largely died away, and expenditure on the Service is no longer viewed with such alarm or disquiet.
The total expenditure on medicines in the United Kingdom in 1966 was £267 million. Of this £188 million was for medicines prescribed on the National Health Service. The other £79 million was spent by the public mainly for medicines bought without a doctor's prescription. Thus self-treatment still forms an important aspect of medical care, although in terms of cost it accounts for less than half per cent of total consumer expenditure.
Karlsberg Schaffer, S., Sussex, J., Hughes, D. and Devlin, N.
This new research from the OHE examines how Local Health Boards (LHBs) in Wales adjust spending to meet the statutory requirement of providing access to technologies recommended by NICE within three months after NICE publishes a Technology Appraisal (TA). Based on interviews with medical and/or finance directors of the seven Wales LHBs, the study covers the period from October 2010 through March 2013.
Karlsberg Schaffer, S., Sussex, J., Devlin, N. and Walker, A.
This research examines the use of QALY thresholds in NHS Scotland in 2012-13 for health services that were "at the margin", i.e. those for which investment or disinvestment was planned or occurred.
The study was based on information from three sources: public information from the Scottish Parliament's examination of the NHS Boards' expenditure plans, interviews with the Finance Directors of Scotland's territorial NHS Boards, and a literature review.