Transferring the costs of expensive treatments from secondary to primary care

B J Crump, R Panton, M F Drummond, M Marchment, R A Hawkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


General practitioners, especially fundholders, are becoming increasingly concerned about being asked to prescribe treatments for their patients that are outside their therapeutic experience. They are concerned about the clinical responsibility for such prescribing and the effects on their budgets. In some specialties transferring the costs of expensive treatments from secondary to primary care (cost shifting) has become partly institutionalised because of the separate sources of funding for drugs prescribed in the two sectors. With increased efforts to control the rising costs of the drugs budget and the emergence of new expensive treatments, cost shifting will be a challenge to clinicians and purchasers as they strive for rational, cost effective prescribing. A review of the funding mechanisms for drugs prescribing and of the relation between the licensing process and the decision to support the use of a treatment in primary or secondary care is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-512
Number of pages4
JournalBritish medical journal
Issue number6978
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 1995

Cite this