Carnival of the Capitalists
By Arnold Kling
One of the links I followed from COTC was Mike Pechar’s report on a change in German drug reiumbursement policy.
On January 1, 2004, German health care reform stipulated that non-prescription drugs would no longer be covered by Germany’s health system. Now those individuals buying non-prescription medicine have to pay out-of-pocket.
Well, guess what? Non-prescription drug sales have collapsed. According to Jurgen Petersen, OTC drug expert at IMS Health, OTC sales slumped by 13% this year and 80% of the drug producers have seen a decrease in sales.
Pechar notes that this could be an indication of what might happen if third party payments were eliminated for other medical expenses.
For Discussion. Are there other “natural experiments” that demonstrate that consumer choice can make a difference in health care spending?