European Pharmaceutical Policies

The following publication is a summary of key policies toward pharmaceuticals in three European countries, Britain, France and West Germany, in 1989. Four key policy areas are covered: pricing and reimbursement, registration, research and development and patents. Some reference is made to pharmaceutical policies in other European countries where this is thought to be particularly relevant or illuminating.

It provides an overview of key policies and may be regarded as a primer for non-experts.

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Bucking the Market

There is a growing consensus in Britain that urgent membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System is required to cure Britain's inflation and to secure the re-election of the Conservatives at the next election. The argument put forward by proponents of membership is, however, flawed and many of those who argue for membership have secondary reasons unconnected with sound analyses of the problems facing the British economy. Most of these arguments skim swiftly over the economic reasons for membership to concentrate on the political or the future of the EEC. And, indeed, many proponents of ERM are also unapologetic supporters of full monetary union. It is interesting that the clamouring for membership of the ERM is only now being put forward as a panacea for our inflationary problems. It was not so mooted as a cure for the inflation faced by Britain in the early 1980s. Is it a coincidence that the current calls for membership of the ERM occur at the same time as those in favour of full monetary union are pressing ahead on the next stage of their plan?

This paper seeks to scrutinise the major arguments put forward in favour of ERM membership - whether it be early membership, or even membership "when the time is right". It argues that membership of the ERM would not solve the problems faced by Britain. It seeks to establish this by concentrating on the following areas:

  1. by exposing the flaws in the economic argument in favour of joining the ERM;
  2. by highlighting the political implications of membership.


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A Moving Experience

Edward Brooks says the English house-selling system is archaic, costly, slow, and nerve-racking for all concerned. His solution? Binding contracts, house logbooks, searches done by vendors before the house is put on the market - and a second-hand market in houses.

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A Friend in Need

Based on the ideas of Labour MP Frank Field, this report suggests steps toward localization of welfare services through the old Friendly Societies system, rather than the modern state-centered organization. In a bold move away from his party, Field recognized the problems of the state controlled system and the benefits that market forces and local control could incur on the system proposal. In the move back to the Friendly Societies, unemployment benefits would be dispensed locally with specialized services specific to communities, giving customers options of moving to Societies which benefit them most - increasing level of service for all through competition. This report finally concludes that such a change could improve not only the UK, but services across Europe as the trends of competitiveness spread.

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Adam Smith's Legacy

Prominent academics, journalists and politicians highlight the historical contribution of Adam Smith and the role of his ideas in the shaping of modern economic thinking. Includes contributions by Leo Rosten, Professors William Letwin and Edwin G West who speak to The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments specifically, Richard Vernier, Russell Lewis, writing about Adam Smith today, Rt Hon Nicholas Ridley, Professor Norman Barry with a piece about the ethics of capitalism, and Dr Jeremy Shearmur.

Read the full essay collection here

Competition for the Phone

In approaching the decisions that have to be made in the forthcoming duopoly review, this paper argues that the UK should adopt the same approach that it has to other industries as they move towards more effective competition. The reduction in intervention, and the increased opportunity for market forces to shape companies throughout British industry, have transformed many under-performing sectors. They will be no less effective in the telecommunications sector.  

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Sunday, Sunday

Proposals to allow Sunday opening of shops in England and Wales are again on the political agenda. Despite the failure of the Thatcher government's previous attempt to deregulate Sunday trading, the arguments in favour of change are as strong as ever.

This publication is an evaluation of the arguments for and against Sunday trading, looking at examples of it in action across the world, and applying it to the current UK climate.

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