Adoption of a Cost-Saving Innovation
Germany, UK and Simvastatin
Published in: England and Germany in Europe – What Lessons Can We Learn from Each Other? / Klusen, N., Verheyen, F, and Wagner, C. Beiträge zum Gesundheitsmanagement, 32 (Baden-Baden, Germany : Nomos Verlag, 2011), Chapter 1, p. 11-26
Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2011
We examine how the UK and German health care systems responded to a major cost-saving innovation: the availability of generic simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug. In the German Social Health Insurance, the generic's entry reduced sales volumes for both branded simvastatin (Zocor) and a close substitute, branded atorvastatin (Lipitor/Sortis). In UK, only the sales of branded simvastatin fell whereas the sales of atorvastatin were mostly unaffected. We trace these experiences to institutional differences in the two health care systems and to the structure of patient cost-sharing in particular.