Historical Archive

Growing pharmaceutical spending.

The consumption of drugs in Italy increased by 9.9% in the first three months of 2006. A significant increase, which dragged along pharmaceutical expenditure: the overall gross one increased by 7.3% compared to the same period last year.
These are the first 2006 data anticipated by Pierluigi Russo, of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa), at the presentation of the VI Osmed Report, the National Observatory on the use of medicines, on 23 June at the Higher Institute of Health in Rome. The increase in consumption concerned the therapeutic categories with the greatest impact on expenditure, drugs for the cardiovascular system (48.3%) and for the intestinal system (37.2%) in the lead. The greatest increase in consumption was recorded in Lombardy, with over 50 million more daily doses than in the first quarter of 2005. Followed by Lazio and Sicily. The latter is in first place for the increase in expenditure, around 35 million euro more in the first three months of this year than in the same period of 2005. Generics absorbed around 14% of expenditure, with no significant changes compared to the first three months of last year, and 23% of consumption. A "good result more than one in 5 daily doses is not a specialty," comments Russo. The highest spending on generics is concentrated in Sicily, Campania, Lazio, Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata, Tuscany.
As for the distribution of expenditure, of the 28 packs of medicines consumed, on average, by each citizen in 2005, 15 are paid for by the NHS and 13 purchased directly. Last year, the consumption of medicines covered by the NHS increased by 39% compared to 2000, for a total of 807 doses per thousand inhabitants. Total pharmaceutical expenditure stands at approximately 20 billion euro, which marks a +1.4% compared to 2004, mainly due to the +6.3% of private expenditure, while public expenditure decreased by 0.6%. The slight decrease in public expenditure seems to have been mainly determined by the lowering of prices (-3.4%), but also by the shift in prescription towards less expensive drugs, in technical terms the 'mix effect' (-1.1%). "Public spending currently covers - explained Roberto Raschetti, researcher at the National Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion of the ISS and editor of the report - around 70% of expenditure on drugs, a share which in turn represents 13.4% of the total expenditure billed by the National Health Service".
The geographical map of drug consumption sees a predominance of the Centre-South: in fact, it goes from 638 daily doses in Bolzano to 979 in Lazio. The latter is the region that spends the most on pills and syrups, followed by Sicily, Campania and Puglia.
From "Pharmacist33

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