Distributive Justice and the Introduction of Generic Medicines
Health Care Analysis: An International Journal of Health Care Philosophy and Policy 2002; 10(2): 221-229
INTRODUCTION: All countries face the issue of choice in healthcare. Allocation of healthcare resources is clearly associated with the concept of distributive justice and to the existence of a right to healthcare. Nevertheless, there is still the question of whether this right should include all types of healthcare services or if it should be limited to selected types. It follows that choices must be made, priorities must be set and that efficiency of healthcare services should be maximum. OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Distributive justice aims at ensuring that everyone has access to necessary care based on the substantive ethical principles of equity and solidarity. Resource allocation is paramount in public policy particularly with regards pharmacoeconomics. The objective of this study is to determine the leading issues regarding the marketing and trade of generic medicines analysing the reasons why there are huge disparities between European countries with regards generic drugs acceptance by practitioners. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Distributive justice aims at ensuring that everyone has access to reasonable care based on the ethical principles of equity and solidarity. However, universality implies always choice in access and efficiency in delivery. It follows that resource allocation is instrumental in public policy particularly with regards pharmacoeconomics. The acceptance of distributive justice as a new ethical paradigm for professional ethics implies that as long as the best interest of the patient is not at stake physicians should regard the use of generic drugs as a valid instrument to promote the efficiency of the system and therefore as a way to facilitate citizen's global access to healthcare.