Pharmaceutical policies are interlinked globally, yet deeply rooted in local culture. Prescribing Cultures examines how pharmaceuticals and their regulation play an important and often contentious role in the health systems of the Asia-Pacific. The first section of this timely book -which includes a foreword by Michael Reich of Harvard University -addresses pharmaceutical policy in China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, and India. The second section focuses on two crosscutting themes: differences in "prescribing cultures," especially among physicians, who are the primary dispensers of medicine in Asia, and the challenge of balancing access to drugs with incentives for innovation. The book's contributors discuss important issues for U.S. policy, notably drug imports from Asia, regulation of global supply chains to assure drug safety and quality, and new legislation to encourage development of drugs for neglected diseases. In Prescribing Cultures, pharmaceutical policy serves as a window into the economic trade-offs, political compromises, and cultural legacies that shape regional and global health systems.
Karen Eggleston is the director of the Asia Health Policy Program at Shorenstein APARC, USA. Since 2003, she has also been a research associate at the China Academy of Health Policy at Peking University, China. In 2004, she served as a consultant to the World Bank on their project on health service delivery in rural China.