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Determinants of out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenditure and access to drugs in Catalonia

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  • Joan Costa-Font
  • Panos Kanavos
  • Joan Rovira

Abstract

This article examines the determinants of the demand for pharmaceuticals in Catalonia using the latest available official survey data, having accounted for the individual differences in cost-sharing among consumers, as well as the influence of self-medication. The article builds a model of the (household) determinants of pharmaceutical expenditure and consumption. The econometric application deals with the infrequency of purchases and the nondistinction between out-of-pocket spending and drug cost sharing. Our results suggest that income and the variables accounting for the effect of cost sharing were significantly associated with drug use but not drug expenditure. Furthermore, gender, health status and having health insurance appear to be significant predictors. Access to pharmacies increases both drug use and expenditure; self-medication also increases drug expenditure out-of-pocket. These results are relevant for the entire Spanish case where current reform proposals have recommended the introduction of income-related (rather than age-related) co-payments. The same applies to the need for controlling self-medication which results from individual behaviour of consuming medicines for minor ailments without a prescription and which can be acquired OTC and are priced cheaply.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:39:y:2007:i:5:p:541-551
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500438947
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joan Costa & Jaume Puig, 2004. "Regulatory ambivalence and the limitations of pharmaceutical policy in Spain," Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics 762, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Judith K. Hellerstein, 1994. "The Demand for Post-Patent Prescription Pharmaceuticals," NBER Working Papers 4981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yesim Köksal, Miyase, 2011. "Compassion and cost: The dual role of reference pricing," Working Papers in Economics 498, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Alice Sanwald & Engelbert Theurl, 2017. "Out-of-pocket expenditures for pharmaceuticals: lessons from the Austrian household budget survey," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(4), pages 435-447, May.
    3. Alice sanwald & Engelbert Theurl, 2014. "What drives out-of pocket health expenditures of private households? - Empirical evidence from the Austrian household budget survey," Working Papers 2014-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    4. Laura González & Giuliano Masiero, 2011. "Disentangling spillover effects of antibiotic consumption: a spatial panel approach," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 1106, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    5. Ines Ayadi & Houssem Eddine Chebbi & Younes Boujelbene, 2009. "Investigating Generic and Brand Name Pharmaceutical’s Market Shares and Prices in Tunisia," Working Papers 497, Economic Research Forum, revised Jul 2009.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3608 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Astrid Kiil & Kurt Houlberg, 2014. "How does copayment for health care services affect demand, health and redistribution? A systematic review of the empirical evidence from 1990 to 2011," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(8), pages 813-828, November.
    8. Alice Sanwald & Engelbert Theurl, 2015. "Out-of-pocket expenditures for pharmaceuticals: Lessons from the Austrian household budget survey," Working Papers 2015-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    9. Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina, 2010. "Explaining the demand for pharmaceuticals in Spain: Are there differences in drug consumption between foreigners and the Spanish population?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(2-3), pages 217-224, October.

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