Identifying stakeholder opinion regarding access to "high-cost medicines": A systematic review of the literature

Philip Wahlster, Shane Scahill, Sanjay Garg, Zaheer Ud Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify the viewpoints and perceptions of different stakeholders regarding high cost medicines (HCMs). Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify original research articles. Using predefined categories, data related to the viewpoints of different stakeholders was systematically extracted and analyzed. Results: Thirty seven original research articles matched the criteria. The main stakeholders identified include physicians, patients, public and health funding authorities. The influence of media and other economic and ethical issues were also identified in the literature. A large number of stakeholders were concerned about lack of access to HCMs. Physicians have difficulty balancing the the rational use of expensive drugs while at the same time acting as "patients' advocate". Patients would like to know about all treatment options, even if they may not be able to afford them. The process and criteria for reimbursement should be transparent and access has to be equitable across patient groups. Conclusion: Access to HCMs could be improved through transparency and involvement of all stakeholders, especially patients and the public. Moral issues and the "rule of rescue" could influence decision-making process significantly. At system level, objectivity is important to ensure that the system is equitable and transparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-527
Number of pages15
JournalCentral European Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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