Adoption of a Cost-Saving Innovation: Germany, UK and Simvastatin


McGuire, Thomas, and Sebastian Bauhoff. 2011. “Adoption of a Cost-Saving Innovation: Germany, UK and Simvastatin.” England and Germany in Europe – What Lessons Can We Learn from Each Other?, edited by Klusen, N., F Verheyen, and C Wagner, 11-26. Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Verlag. Copy at
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We examine how the UK and German health care systems responded to a major cost-saving innovation: the availability of generic simvastatin, a cho¬lesterol-lowering drug. In the German Social Health Insurance, the generic’s entry reduced sales volumes for both branded simvastatin (Zocor) and a close substitute, branded atorvastatin (Lipitor/Sortis). In UK, only the sales of branded simvastatin fell whereas the sales of atorvastatin were mostly unaf¬fected. We trace these experiences to institutional differences in the two health care systems and to the structure of patient cost-sharing in particular.

Series: Beiträge zum Gesundheitsmanagement 32
Last updated on 09/06/2012