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.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.