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The department of health’s comparative cost circulars


It is difficult to assess the cost effectiveness of drugs used in treatment. It is easy to compare them on the basis of cost alone and this is what the Department of Health achieves in its comparative cost circulars. A note on each circular states that ‘. . . . . . . it is only meant to illustrate the comparative costs of the quantity shown and is not suggested that all products have the same pharmacological action. The cost of the treatment will, of course, depend on the dosage used. . .’ Each circular is intended simply to make doctors aware of the cost of a number of products. This aim is undoubtedly worthwhile, but its single-minded pursuit has led to some unfortunate misunderstandings.

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