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Drug Pushing in the New Europe

A new study reveals how drug reimbursement policy in Poland is leaving gaping loopholes for pharmaceutical firms to exploit, raising questions about other, post-communist, EU member states


This may be part of a broader syndrome of the prominence of informal institutions in post-communist policy-making. For the New Europe, this could be a warning." —Lawrence King

An investigation by academic researchers has revealed how backroom deals and discreet pressure by pharmaceutical corporations are determining which drugs are delivered to hospital patients in Poland.

The study, which is described by one of its authors as a “warning for the New Europe”, was led by sociologists at the University of Cambridge, UK. It calls for an overhaul of Poland’s drugs reimbursement system – the process by which government effectively signs off new drugs for use – and suggests that flaws in the system allow some treatments to be employed for therapeutic programmes even though their effectiveness is not guaranteed.

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