Determinants of self-reported medicine underuse due to cost: A comparison of seven countries

The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy (Impact Factor: 1.73). 03/2010; 15(2):106-14. DOI: 10.1258/jhsrp.2009.009059
Source: PubMed


To compare the predictors of self-reported medicine underuse due to cost across countries with different pharmaceutical subsidy systems and co-payments.
We analysed data from a 2007 survey of adults in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand (NZ), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). The predictors of underuse were calculated separately for each country using multivariate poisson regression.
Reports of underuse due to cost varied from 3% in the Netherlands to 20% in the US. In Australia, Canada, NZ, the UK and the US, cost-related underuse was predicted by high out-of-pocket costs (RR range 2.0-4.6), below average income (RR range 1.9-3.1), and younger age (RR range 3.9-16.4). In all countries except Australia and the UK, history of depression was associated with cost-related underuse (RR range 1.2-4.1). In Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US lack of patient involvement in treatment decisions was associated with cost-related underuse (RR range 1.2-1.4). In Australia, Canada and NZ, indigenous persons more commonly reported underuse due to cost (RR range 2.1-2.9).
Cost-related underuse of medicines was least commonly reported in countries with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, the Netherlands and the UK. Countries with reduced co-payments or cost ceilings for low income patients showed the least disparity in rates of underuse between income groups. Despite differences in health insurance systems in these countries, age, ethnicity, depression, and involvement with treatment decisions were consistently predictive of underuse. There are opportunities for policy makers and clinicians to support medicine use in vulnerable groups.

Download full-text


Available from: Anna Kemp-Casey, Dec 12, 2014
  • Source
    • "All of the women in the study were residents of NSW at recruitment to the 45 and Up Study (2006–2009) and reported a median duration of residence in Australia of 37 years (range 26–47). NZ and the UK are culturally similar to Australia, have comparable public pharmaceutical insurance (Kemp et al. 2010), and NZ and UK immigrants to Australia are the most frequent of any countries (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013). Therefore we consider it unlikely that social marginalisation or unfamiliarity with the health system underpins this higher discontinuation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose Despite evidence supporting at least five years of endocrine therapy for early breast cancer, many women discontinue therapy early. We investigated the impact of initial therapy type and specific comorbidities on discontinuation of endocrine therapy in clinical practice. Methods We identified women in a population-based cohort with a diagnosis of early breast cancer and an incident dispensing of anastrozole, letrozole or tamoxifen from 2003–2008 (N = 1531). Pharmacy and health service data were used to determine therapy duration, treatment for pre-existing and post-initiation comorbidities (anxiety, depression, hot flashes, musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, vaginal atrophy), demographic and other clinical characteristics. Time to discontinuation of initial, and any, endocrine therapy was calculated. Cox regression determined the association of different characteristics on early discontinuation. Results Initial endocrine therapy continued for a median of 2.2 years and any endocrine therapy for 4.8 years. Cumulative probability of discontinuing any therapy was 17% after one year and 58% by five years. Initial tamoxifen, pre-existing musculoskeletal pain and newly-treated anxiety predicted shorter initial therapy but not discontinuation of any therapy. Early discontinuation of any therapy was associated with newly-treated hot flashes (HR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.3–3.3), not undergoing chemotherapy (HR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1–1.8) and not undergoing mastectomy (HR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2–1.8). Conclusions Less than half of women completed five years of endocrine therapy. Women at greatest risk of stopping any therapy early were those with newly-treated hot flashes, no initial chemotherapy, or no initial mastectomy. This suboptimal use means that the reductions in recurrence demonstrated in clinical trials may not be realised in practice.
    SpringerPlus 06/2014; 3(1):282. DOI:10.1186/2193-1801-3-282
  • Source
    • "Reports on underuse of medications provide different results for different countries. A recent study revealed that the incidence of this type of refrain varies from 3% in the Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Netherlands to 9% in the United States [5]. A crucial, but understudied link, in understanding the problem of people refraining from buying prescribed medications is patient’s health status. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of medicines by elderly people is a growing area of concern in social pharmacy. A significant proportion of older people do not follow the recommendations from physicians and refrain from buying prescribed medications. The aim of this study is to evaluate associations between self-rated health, somatic complaints and refraining from buying prescribed medications by elderly people. Data was collected in a cross-sectional study in 2009. We received 624 completed questionnaires (response rate - 48.9%) from persons aged 60-84 years living in Kaunas (Lithuania). Somatic complaints were measured with the 24 item version of the Giessen Complaint List (GBB-24). Logistic regression (Enter model) was used for evaluation of the associations between refraining from buying medications and somatic complaints. These associations were measured using odds ratio (OR) and calculating the 95% confidence interval (CI).The mean scores in total for the GBB scale and sub-scales (exhaustion, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular) were lowest among respondents who did not refrain from buying prescribed medications (means for GBB-24 scale: 21.04 vs. 24.82; p=0.001). Logistic regression suggests that somatic complaints were associated with a increased risk of refraining from buying prescribed medications (OR=1.35, 95% CI=1.15-1.60). Somatic complaints were significantly associated with the decision to refrain from buying prescribed medications.
    DARU-JOURNAL OF FACULTY OF PHARMACY 11/2012; 20(1):78. DOI:10.1186/2008-2231-20-78 · 1.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Cost-related non-adherence (CRNA) is a major determinant of non-adherence, [18,36]. Countries with the lowest out-of pocket costs for drugs also have the lowest average rate of CRNA [36]. Countries with no mandatory health insurance system also have large internal variations in CRNA [9,17]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patients' non-adherence to drug therapy is a major problem for society as it is associated with reduced health outcomes. Generally, approximately only 50% of patients with chronic disease in developed countries adhere to prescribed therapy, and the most common non-adherence refers to chronic under-use, i.e. patients use less medication than prescribed or prematurely stop the therapy. Patients' non-adherence leads to high additional costs for society in terms of poor health. Non-adherence is also related to the unnecessary sale of drugs. The aim of the present study was to estimate the drug acquisition cost related to non-adherence to drug therapy in a national population. We constructed a model of the drug acquisition cost related to non-adherence to drug therapy based on patient register data of dispensed out-patient prescriptions in the entire Swedish population during a 12-month period. In the model, the total drug acquisition cost was successively adjusted for the assumed different rates of primary non-adherence (prescriptions not being filled by the patient), and secondary non-adherence (medication not being taken as prescribed) according to the patient's age, therapies, and the number of dispensed drugs per patient. With an assumption of a general primary non-adherence rate of 3%, and a general secondary non-adherence rate of 50%, for all types of drugs, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 11.2 billion (€ 1.2 billion), or 48.5% of total drug acquisition costs in Sweden 2006. With the assumption of varying primary non-adherence rates for different age groups and different secondary non-adherence rates for varying types of drug therapies, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 9.3 billion (€ 1.0 billion), or 40.2% of the total drug acquisition costs. When the assumption of varying primary and secondary non-adherence rates for a different number of dispensed drugs per patient was added to the model, the acquisition cost related to non-adherence totalled SEK 9.9 billion (€ 1.1 billion), or 42.6% of the total drug acquisition costs. Our estimate indicates that drug acquisition costs related to non-adherence represent a substantial proportion of the economic resources in the health care sector. A low rate of primary non-adherence, combined with a high rate of secondary non-adherence, contributes to a large degree of unnecessary medical spending. Thus, efforts of different types of interventions are needed to improve secondary adherence.
    BMC Health Services Research 11/2011; 11(1):326. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-11-326 · 1.71 Impact Factor
Show more