By Faiz Kermani
Healthcare can be an emotionally charged subject. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that most governments around the world struggle to implement a healthcare policy that is acceptable to all.
A growing component of healthcare expenditure is spending on pharmaceuticals, and this feature of medical care has received considerable attention.
Providing healthcare is expensive and requires ongoing investment. Governments have become alarmed at how much they must spend as their populations grow, and as demand for the newest medicines increases.
Furthermore, the rising elderly population and falling birth rates place a great strain on funding for public healthcare. As the elderly population grows, the number of potential workers whose tax contributions can help support their care will decline1.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has warned that many countries are underestimating the future impact that such factors will have on healthcare spending. In a 2001 study OECD revealed that the over-65 age group accounted for 40-50% of healthcare spending and that their per-capita healthcare costs were three to five times higher than those under 652. (more…)