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Healthcare: Federfarma, NHS pharmaceutical expenditure drops by 9, 1% in 2012

17:47 MAR 12, 2013

(AGI) - Rome, March 12. – The decline in NHS authorized pharmaceutical expenditure continues for the sixth consecutive year, which in 2012 recorded a -9.1% compared to 2011. "With this figure – comments the president of Federfarma Annarosa Racca – the authorized pharmaceutical expenditure is today, the only item in the health balance, at levels lower than those of 2001". The reduction in approved pharmaceutical expenditure is due to the decrease in the average value of prescriptions (-9.3%), linked to various factors: the repeated cuts in the prices of medicines, the withholding taxes imposed on pharmacies, the progressive increase in the number of equivalent medicines and the direct distribution or on behalf of medicines purchased by the local health authorities. The contribution of pharmacies to containing expenditure continues to be significant: in 2012 it was, overall, approximately 800 million euros. In addition to the dissemination of equivalents and the free supply of all data on NHS drugs, pharmacies contribute to limit spending with the discount by price range, which produced savings of over 536 million euros in 2012, and with the 0.64% portion of the so-called pay-back, which is worth over 73 million euros. To these heavy charges must be added the withholding of 1.82% on pharmaceutical expenditure, which has increased since July 2012 to 2.25%. This additional deduction has led to a cost for pharmacies that can be quantified at approximately 186 million euros in 2012. "All of this - explains Annarosa Racca - makes the economic situation of pharmacies increasingly difficult, especially in Regions such as Campania, Calabria, Lazio, but also Piedmont, where there are delays in payments by the ASL. The current difficulty is also confirmed by the news of the bankruptcy of some pharmacies in Friuli and Campania". Even citizens, with co-payments, contribute substantially to the same extent as pharmacies to contain spending. The participation fees paid by citizens grow as a result of increases in co-payments at the regional level, but also due to citizens resorting to more expensive branded medicines, with payment of the difference in price compared to the less expensive equivalent.
"The latter phenomenon – observes the president of Federfarma – is fueled by the controversy over the effectiveness of generics and substitution by the pharmacist". From the analysis of the composition of drug consumption under the NHS, it emerges that in 2012 drugs for the cardiovascular system were confirmed as the category with the highest expenditure even though, with equal consumption, they recorded a decrease of -13.5% compared to 2011, following the greater use of lower priced, expired patent medicines. Worth noting is the sharp drop in spending (-14.5%) for antimicrobial drugs, which corresponds to a reduction in consumption: citizens therefore used less antibiotics, thanks also to the various information campaigns to promote their correct use. As regards the most prescribed categories of drugs, once again in 2012 acid pump inhibitors (drugs for gastritis, ulcers,

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco