New article by Mette Ebbesen (with Tara Bladt and Thomas Vorup-Jensen): "Principles for Just Prioritization of Expensive Biological Therapies in the Danish Healthcare System"
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, E-Pub Ahead of Print, 21 September 2023
The Danish healthcare system must meet the need for easy and equal access to healthcare for every citizen. However, investigations have shown unfair prioritization of cancer patients and unfair prioritization of resources for expensive medicines over care. What is needed are principles for proper prioritization. This article investigates whether American ethicists Tom Beauchamp and James Childress’s principle of justice may be helpful as a conceptual framework for reflections on prioritization of expensive biological therapies in the Danish healthcare system. We present an empirical study exploring the principles for prioritizing new expensive biological therapies. This study includes qualitative interviews with key Danish stakeholders experienced in antibody therapy and prioritizing resources for expensive medicines. Beauchamp and Childress’s model only covers government-funded primary and acute healthcare. Based on the interviews, this study indicates that to be helpful in a Danish context this model should include equal access for citizens to government-funded primary and acute healthcare, costly medicine, and other scarce treatments. We conclude that slightly modified, Beauchamp and Childress’s principle of justice might be useful as a conceptual framework for reflections on the prioritization of expensive biological therapies in the Danish healthcare system.