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Assessing horizontal equity in medication treatment among elderly Mexicans: which socioeconomic determinants matter most?

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  • Jürgen Maurer

    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany)

Abstract

Many low- and middle-income countries are currently undergoing a dramatic epidemiological transition, with an increasing disease burden due to degenerative noncommunicable diseases. Inexpensive medication treatment often represents a cost-effective means to prevent, control or cure many of these health conditions. Using micro-data from the 2001 Mexican Health and Aging Study, we assess horizontal inequity in medication treatment among older Mexicans before the introduction of Popular Health Insurance in Mexico. In doing so, we investigate the role of various dimensions of socioeconomic status for obtaining indicated medication treatment within a comparatively fragmented health-care system that features relatively high out-of-pocket expenditures. Our empirical analysis suggests health insurance coverage as a key socioeconomic determinant of indicated medication use with large and statistically significant positive effects on take-up. The effects of insurance status thereby clearly dominate any other possible effects of socioeconomic status on medication treatment. Our results thus highlight the importance of access to reliable health care and comprehensive coverage for rational medication use in the management of degenerative diseases. In light of this evidence, we expect that recent Mexican health-care reforms, which expand health insurance coverage to the previously uninsured population, will alleviate socioeconomic gradients in medication treatment among older people in need. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1313
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1153-1169

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:10:p:1153-1169

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Dana Goldman & James P. Smith, 2005. "Socioeconomic Differences in the Adoption of New Medical Technologies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 234-237, May.
  2. José A. Pagán & Andrea Puig & Beth J. Soldo, 2007. "Health insurance coverage and the use of preventive services by Mexican adults," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(12), pages 1359-1369.
  3. Pierre Moïse & Elizabeth Docteur, 2007. "Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies in Mexico," OECD Health Working Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
  4. Anne Case & Ingrid Le Roux & Alicia Menendez, 2004. "Medical Compliance and Income-Health Gradients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 331-335, May.
  5. Adriana Lleras-Muney & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs," NBER Working Papers 9185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, EconWPA.
  7. Pagan, Jose A. & Ross, Sara & Yau, Jeffrey & Polsky, Daniel, 2006. "Self-medication and health insurance coverage in Mexico," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 170-177, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Lambrelli D & O’Donnell O, 2009. "Why Does the Utilization of Pharmaceuticals Vary So Much Across Europe? Evidence from Micro Data on Older Europeans," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Faden, Laura & Vialle-Valentin, Catherine & Ross-Degnan, Dennis & Wagner, Anita, 2011. "Active pharmaceutical management strategies of health insurance systems to improve cost-effective use of medicines in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review of current evidence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 134-143.

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