Another special relationship? Interactions between health technology policies and health care systems in the United States and the United Kingdom

B Sampat, Mike Drummond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Confronted with similar challenges, the U.S. and U.K. have adopted very different health technology policies. In the U.S., the focus has been on technology creation, in particular the funding of basic biomedical research at the NIH. This both reflects and reinforces an innovation-first culture in the U.S., including in health. By contrast, the U.K. has been much more heavily committed to applied research and evaluative research, including health-technology assessment. That is, while U.S. policy has focused on technology creation, U.K. policy has been more oriented towards technology diffusion. This paper surveys the sources of these differences. We consider the impacts of institutional, cultural, and other factors that may explain them, and emphasize that it is hard to disentangle their separate effects. We conclude with a discussion of the difficulties in drawing cross-national lessons in health technology policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-139
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of health politics policy and law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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