* What are the principal features of the system responsible for the production, regulation, distribution and funding of therapeutic drugs? * What are the major problem areas and issues of policy concern that have arisen in the pharmaceutical sector and how have the participants - particularly the State - responded to such controversies? Medicines, and the policy issues they raise, are the subject of this book. Therapeutic drugs are widely used - some on a routine basis, others in a highly selective and specialized fashion. Although we take the availability of such potent agents for granted, there stands behind them a complex and sophisticated system of scientific invation, industrial production, State audit, and professional distribution. Major issues of price, invation, safety, professional practice and consumer automy arise. Pharmaceuticals account for about ten per cent of health care costs, they are produced by a flagship industrial sector, they are jealously guarded by key professional groups, they raise formidable questions of quality and safety, and they are watched over by a vigilant and vociferous consumer movement. Managing Medicines seeks to disentangle these issues and come up with concrete suggestions as to how we might move forward in an area of public policy that is hotly disputed. It will be of interest to health professionals and policy makers as well as students of public health, nursing studies, social policy and social work.
Peter Davis is Senior Lecturer in Medical Sociology in the Department of Community Health at the Auckland Medical School, New Zealand. His areas of special research interest are health services and health policy. He has published widely on social inequality, dentistry, primary care, and pharmaceuticals policy.