There are large regional differences in the use of new drugs. Is it reasonable that the residential area should determine what drugs a patient gets access to?
In the report, The Profession, The Pen and the Money. Regional Differences in the Use of Drugs, a group of researchers from Medical Management Centre (MMC) at Karolinska Institutet, chaired by Professor Mats Brommels, has conducted an analysis of what factors create differences between regions in the use of new drugs.
The study indicates that the differences are due to the fact that local networks of doctors make different interpretations of the evidence that exists on the effect of new drugs. Within regions where a drug has been subject to clinical tests, there is a larger probability of an early introduction of the drug. However, the design of the administrative and budgetary policy models does not seem to have been of importance for the use of drugs.
The group of researchers draws the conclusion that the county councils and the directors of medical care should delegate decisions about the introduction of new drugs to the medical profession. Doctors are to be given the right conditions, in the form of support for decision making and IT tools. In return, the responsibility for continuous improvements in medical care through innovations should be the responsibility of the medical profession.
Authors of the reports
MATS BROMMELS, Professor, Head of MMC, Karolinska Institutet
JOHAN HANSSON, PhD, MMC
EMMA GRANSTRÖM, Research Assistant, MMC
EMMA WÅHLIN, Research Assistant, MMC