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Explaining the demand for pharmaceuticals in Spain: Are there differences in drug consumption between foreigners and the Spanish population?

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  • Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores
  • Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study is to examine the factors driving the demand for drugs in Spain, focusing on the existence of disparities in pharmaceutical consumption between the Spanish and the foreign population.Methods Our analysis is based on a multilevel multinomial probit model that compares three consumption options (no consumption, prescribed consumption and self-medicated consumption) on the five most consumed drugs in Spain. Data is taken from the adult sample of the 2006 Spanish National Health Survey, including 29,478 individuals over 15 years old.Results Overall, the findings show a lower consumption of medicines by some immigrants categories relative to Spaniards. In addition, the results indicate that the consumption of medicines is mainly related to variables associated to the specific cost sharing structure in Spain, such as health limitations and retirement status. Other variables found to explain the demand for drugs were: private health insurance, age, sex, alcohol and cigarette consumption and drug class.Conclusion Further understanding of the reasons for the observed differences in drug consumption on the basis of country of birth would allow the health system to design more effective health policies aimed at ensuring equality of access to health resources to all population groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 97 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (October)
Pages: 217-224

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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:97:y:2010:i:2-3:p:217-224

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

Related research

Keywords: Drugs with prescription Self-medication Immigration User charges;

References

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  1. Joan Costa-Font & Panos Kanavos & Joan Rovira, 2007. "Determinants of out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenditure and access to drugs in Catalonia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 541-551.
  2. Andrew M. Jones, 2012. "health econometrics," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Co-Payments for Prescription Drugs and the Demand for Doctor Visits - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0307, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  4. Vaananen, Minna Heleena & Pietila, Kirsi & Airaksinen, Marja, 2006. "Self-medication with antibiotics--Does it really happen in Europe?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 166-171, July.
  5. Morris, Stephen & Sutton, Matthew & Gravelle, Hugh, 2005. "Inequity and inequality in the use of health care in England: an empirical investigation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1251-1266, March.
  6. Hernández Quevedo, C & Jiménez Rubio, D, 2008. "A comparison of the health status and health care utilisation patterns between foreigners and the national population in Spain: new evidence from the Spanish National Health Survey," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/22, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
  8. Lundberg, Lena & Johannesson, Magnus & Isacson, Dag G. L. & Borgquist, Lars, 1998. "Effects of user charges on the use of prescription medicines in different socio-economic groups," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 123-134, May.
  9. Begoña Álvarez, 2001. "La demanda atendida de consultas médicas y servicios urgentes en España," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 25(1), pages 93-138, January.
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