â€œObsession with cost-containment has brought about regulatory measures that significantly affect the independence of German doctors. The â€œDrugs Saving Packageâ€ voted by the German parliament, introduces penalties for prescription of â€œexpensiveâ€ drugs and rewards physicians who restrict their prescriptions to low-cost copy generics. This ethically objectionable legal gimmickry - akin to bribing physicians not to treat to the best of their ability - was one of the sparks of the doctor protest movement. A recent survey suggests that 65% of German physicians condemn bureaucratic tampering with prescriptions. Public perceptions echo their concerns. Questioned on this issue, 60% of people at large reckon that they will no longer get the best possible treatment from their doctors. Judging by media coverage, most Germans sympathize with their doctors' plight but express scepticism as to their ability to influence government health care policy and budgeting.â€
Dr. Crespoâ€™s complete essay and the complete paper can be found under the â€œReportsâ€ heading at http://www.cmpi.org.