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12.03.2008

Cost Explosion in the German Healthcare System - Are Cost-Benefit Assessments a Solution?

International Event with the Stockholm Network

The German health spending has seen a dramatic rise in the last four decades quadrupling in real terms. As our society ages, this trend will accelerate in the future. The population has a fett resistance to power restrictions, but the health insurance contributions are already perceived as too high. Against this background; is there a need for a health technology assessment (Health Technology Assessment or HTA)?  

 

This evaluation includes the systematic evaluation of costs and benefits of medical service as an objective and scientific answer to this dilemma. Independent institutions such as the IQWiG, proponents say, could objectively assess the public funding of drug costs, and that because of this the high costs and low benefits for the patient may be rejected. This alleges that unnecessary expenditures can be saved without compromising the performance of health care to detriment of an individual.  

 

The increasing use of HTA raises important questions but they are seldom noticed. These include: Is HTA really an objective and scientific tool, or does it serve only the rationing of health services? Is there a methodical gold standard that is applied everywhere, or is HTA interpreted differently, depending on the political and institutional situation? Why has this phenomenon escaped critica public debate? Is HTA compatible with freedom of choice for patients and therapeutic autonomy for doctors? And what impact has HTA on the future of medical progress?  

 

For the first time think tanks will meet to discuss this important question on healthcare and the cost/benefit it has on out lives.  

 

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"It is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected"

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