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France’s rational use of medicines Posted 25/03/2011

France was studied in detail in a report produced by the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG – Austrian Health Institute). The report surveyed measures for promoting the rational use of medicines in the 27 EU member states.

Monitoring of pharmaceutical expenditure and consumption in France is carried out by the social health insurance and the French medicines agency, Agence francaise de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (AFSSAPS).

AFSSAPS contains a department, the National Observatory for Prescriptions and Consumption of Medicines, which produces analysis reports on the development of consumption in specific pharmaceutical groups.

A typical feature of the French system is agreements between the social health insurance and actors, e.g. with pharmacists to reach certain generic substitution targets and with doctors to prescribe cost-effectively. In 2009, the social health insurance started to make individual contracts with doctors, in addition to the existing framework agreement with the doctors’ associations. Representatives of the social health insurance also visit prescribing doctors to inform and advice them about measures for more rational use of medicines.

Generic substitution is allowed, but not obligatory in France. Pharmacists are granted a financial incentive to encourage them to substitute brand-name drugs for generic ones. When dispensing a generic, they receive the same amount of remuneration as they would have received for the original product.

Information campaigns targeted at the general public are regularly organised by the French social health insurance.

Acknowledgement

This article is published with permission of the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)/Austrian Health Institute.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Dr Sabine Vogler of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG – Austrian Health Institute) to GaBI Online.

Vogler S, Schmickl B. Rational use of medicines in Europe. Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG). February 2010.

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Reference

Vogler S, Schmickl B. Rational use of medicines in Europe. Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG). February 2010.

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