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BMC Health Services Research

, 11:326

Utilization, expenditure, economics and financing systems

Abstract

BackgroundPatients- non-adherence to drug therapy is a major problem for society as it is associated with reduced health outcomes. Generally, approximately only 50% of patients with chronic disease in developed countries adhere to prescribed therapy, and the most common non-adherence refers to chronic under-use, i.e. patients use less medication than prescribed or prematurely stop the therapy. Patients- non-adherence leads to high additional costs for society in terms of poor health. Non-adherence is also related to the unnecessary sale of drugs. The aim of the present study was to estimate the drug acquisition cost related to non-adherence to drug therapy in a national population.

MethodsWe constructed a model of the drug acquisition cost related to non-adherence to drug therapy based on patient register data of dispensed out-patient prescriptions in the entire Swedish population during a 12-month period. In the model, the total drug acquisition cost was successively adjusted for the assumed different rates of primary non-adherence prescriptions not being filled by the patient, and secondary non-adherence medication not being taken as prescribed according to the patient-s age, therapies, and the number of dispensed drugs per patient.

ResultsWith an assumption of a general primary non-adherence rate of 3%, and a general secondary non-adherence rate of 50%, for all types of drugs, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 11.2 billion € 1.2 billion, or 48.5% of total drug acquisition costs in Sweden 2006.

With the assumption of varying primary non-adherence rates for different age groups and different secondary non-adherence rates for varying types of drug therapies, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 9.3 billion € 1.0 billion, or 40.2% of the total drug acquisition costs.

When the assumption of varying primary and secondary non-adherence rates for a different number of dispensed drugs per patient was added to the model, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 9.9 billion € 1.1 billion, or 42.6% of the total drug acquisition costs.

ConclusionsOur estimate indicates that drug acquisition costs related to non-adherence represent a substantial proportion of the economic resources in the health care sector. A low rate of primary non-adherence, combined with a high rate of secondary non-adherence, contributes to a large degree of unnecessary medical spending. Thus, efforts of different types of interventions are needed to improve secondary adherence.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-11-326 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Bo Hovstadius - Göran Petersson

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/



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