The impact of generic reference pricing interventions in the statin market
Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate the intended and unintended impact on pharmaceutical use and sales of three public reimbursement reforms applied to the prescription of statins: a Spanish generic reference pricing system, and two competing policies introduced by the Andalusian Public Health Service.Methods This study is designed as an interrupted time series analysis with comparison series of 46 monthly drug use and sales figures from January 2001 to October 2004 for each active ingredient.Results The mean monthly saving for the year after the introduction of reference pricing was 16.7% of total lovastatin sales, representing only 1.1% of total statins sales. Mean monthly savings for the 10 months after reference pricing being applied to simvastatin were 51.8% of simvastatin sales, and 13.9% of statin sales. Over the 46 months of the study, all analysed public interventions resulted in a 2.2% average monthly decrease in statin sales in the rest of Spain and savings non-significantly different from zero in Andalusia.Conclusion RP has been effective at reducing the volume of sales growth of the off-patent statins, yet its overall impact on sales of all statins has been relatively modest.
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