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Healthcare Glossary

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Reference pricing

Reimbursement of a class of pharmacologically or therapeutically equivalent drugs according to the price of the least expensive of that class.

In many therapeutic fields a series of various marketed products which, while not identical, essentially serve the same purpose. However the prices of these drugs may vary greatly, more often the newest product being the more expensive. Rather than the pubic purse cover these costs if a practitioner prescribes the more expensive drug, a referenced tariff system outlines the acceptable price level. This may be the average of the comparable prices, the mean of the low end of the market cost, or even the most cost effective in its category. If the practitioner still insists on prescribing the more expensive drug, he/she may be asked to submit due justification or the patient may have to cover the cost.

See also:
Pharmaceutical Pricing Regulation Scheme (PPRS)

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