Historical Archive

Expenditure on medicines

Medication expenditure data for the period January-October 2006. From Federfarma 15-01-07
In the month of October 2006, as happened for the first time in the month of September, the expenditure sustained by the NHS to ensure pharmaceutical assistance marked zero growth (-0.2%) compared to the same month in 2005. This result was obtained thanks to the interventions promoted by AIFA and, in particular, to the selective cut in the prices of medicines with the greatest impact on expenditure, in force since 15 July 2006, and to the further generalized 5% decrease in the prices of all medicines reimbursable by the NHS. On the other hand, the number of recipes continues to increase, with an increase in October in October +9,1% compared to October 2005, partially offsetting the impact of price cuts on spending.
On the basis of the very first data available, it seems that in November 2006 the trend reversal in the expenditure trend compared to the previous months is even more evident and the net expenditure figure shows a decided minus sign.

Overall, the net pharmaceutical expenditure borne by the NHS in the first ten months of 2006 amounted to approximately 10,390 million euros with an increase of +7.3% compared to the same period in 2005. To guarantee the agreed pharmaceutical assistance, the NHS spent an average of 179.49 euros for each Italian citizen. The number of prescriptions increased by +5.9% compared to the first ten months of 2005. Each citizen used, on average, 7.22 prescriptions.

Among the factors that influenced the spending trend in the January-October 2006 period, we should also mention the lower impact of the co-payments, following the decision of various Regions to abolish or reduce the sharing of citizens, expanding the exemptions: the incidence of the co-payment on gross spending went from 4% in the first ten months of 2005 to 3% in the first ten months of 2006.

Pharmacies continue to make a significant contribution to containing spending in the form of a discount to the NHS. In the period January-October 2006, pharmacies guaranteed savings of over 515 million euro (equal to over 1,000 billion lire), while the 0.6% discount paid by industry, aimed at recovering the overrun of the spending ceiling imposed in 2005 on hospital pharmaceutical expenditure, resulted in savings of just over 50 million euro.

In the first ten months of 2006, the incidence on gross expenditure of the participation fees paid by citizens (relating to both the co-payment and the difference with respect to the reference price) ranges from a share that oscillates between 0.7 and 1% in the Regions that do not apply co-payments (where citizens only pay any difference between the reference price and the price of the more expensive medicinal product) and between 6% and 7.1% in the Regions with more incisive co-payments. At the national level, this incidence was on average equal to 3%, down compared to the same period of 2005, when it was equal to 4%, following the remodulation of the tickets launched by some Regions. It should be noted, in particular, that the Lazio Region has abolished the co-payment on medicines with effect from 1 January 2006.
For an overview of the tickets applied by the individual Regions, see the website www.federfarma.it under the heading "regional tickets".

The increase in spending is generalized in all Regions

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