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Reimbursement for drugs - a register study comparing economic outcome for five healthcare centres in areas with different socioeconomic conditions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Cell Biology.
2009 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 37, no 6, 647-653 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: Previous studies have indicated the negative effects of socioeconomic deprivation on health status and morbidity. Nevertheless, the economic assignment systems for pharmaceutical benefits in Sweden do not take socioeconomic status (SES) into account. The aim of the study was, therefore, to compare reimbursement for subsidized drugs at primary healthcare centres (HCCs) with differing socioeconomic conditions in relation to real costs. The word reimbursement is used to denote economic compensation to the HCCs from the county council for drug benefit costs. Methods: The numbers of individuals dispensed drugs, total costs and reimbursement at five HCCs with different socioeconomic conditions were compared. A socioeconomic index was calculated for each HCC on the basis of information from the municipality registries on income ( with negative sign), assistance allowance, education, foreign background, and unemployment. Register data on drug benefit costs were retrieved from the National Corporation of Pharmacies (Apoteket AB) and the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register at the National Board of Health and Welfare. Data on listed and unlisted citizens at the Kalmar County Council and on public statistics from registers at the HCC municipalities where the HCCs were situated were retrieved. Results: There was an almost inverse linear relationship between total cost compensation and the socioeconomic index (n = 5; r = -0.99; p = 0.001). The HCCs with the lowest SES received lower cost compensation. Conclusions: HCCs responsible for citizens with lower SES appeared to be disadvantaged by the prevalent reimbursement system in Sweden, thereby increasing differences in the state of health of the citizens. This, in turn, hampers health preventing programmes and lifestyle interventions. An HCC-specific standardized summary of socioeconomic burden is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 37, no 6, 647-653 p.
Keyword [en]
Reimbursement, primary healthcare, drug benefit, socioeconomic conditions
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128308DOI: 10.1177/1403494809106544ISI: 000268798000014PubMedID: 19546143OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-128308DiVA: diva2:331157
Available from: 2010-07-21 Created: 2010-07-20 Last updated: 2010-12-28Bibliographically approved

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