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Experts Advise Measures For Pricey Medications In Hospitals

In recent years, our requirement for hospital medications has increased, resulting in an increase in their hospital cost.

Depending on the statistics gathered by each nation, the pace at which hospitals in Europe are spending more money on cutting-edge medications is rising. But regardless of how comparable the data are, almost all nations are witnessing an increase in public accounts for these medications. Leading the way are the United Kingdom, where the increase reached nearly 180% from 2011 to 2020, Belgium, with an increase of 88.2% from 2013 to 2019, and Italy, with an increase of 88.1% from 2011 to 2019.

On the other end of the spectrum is our nation, where hospital pharmaceutical spending dropped by 21.6% from 2012 to 2019 primarily as a result of memoranda and fiscal adjustment programmes. This reduction in spending sparked a concurrent decline in pharmaceutical spending outside of hospitals (by 32.5%), which decreased overall spending on medications by 30.2% during this time.

Germany Had A Comparable Negative Trend (-2.3% From 2010 To 2014)

Over the last ten years, hospital spending has grown by around 5.7% in 13 European nations, whereas overall pharmaceutical spending has climbed by 11.8% and hospital spending has grown by 45.6%.

This conclusion is based on a Greek scientific study that was published as an editorial in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The study’s first author, assistant professor of health economics Kostas Athanasakis, was part of a team of economists from the Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment of the University of West Attica.

The Third Health Expense Is For Medications

According to experts, pharmaceutical spending, which makes up roughly a sixth of total health spending and ranks third in importance only after hospital and outpatient care, is a significant contributor to overall health spending.

In the majority of OECD nations, the rate of outpatient pharmaceutical spending has been rising in recent years. Hospital costs, however, are often left out of data on global health, maybe because they are included into total hospital services. In spite of this, hospitals in many nations have developed recently become a significant distribution route for cutting-edge (and costly) medications.

According to the country, hospitals typically account for 20–50% of the pharmaceutical spending of public health organisations. The disparities in spending on inpatient and outpatient medications, as well as for all of them, are a reflection of the various preferences and strategies of the various nations regarding the use of hospitals as distribution hubs.

This is why the study’s authors emphasise the necessity of “refocusing on hospital pharmaceutical expenditure in order to assess the current situation, anticipate future needs, and, if necessary, create appropriate funding and evaluation mechanisms so that with the appropriate data-driven pharmaceutical policy, patients’ access to the best treatment options will be ensured.”

More Quickly In Hospitals

They Develop More Quickly In Hospitals

Health economists note from their observation that “Overall, the trend in total European pharmaceutical expenditure shows that hospital pharmaceutical spending is increasing more quickly than outpatient pharmaceutical spending.

International pharmaceutical spending is under significant pressure due to the dynamics of the pharmaceutical market, which are influenced by epidemiological changes and demographic trends, but also – if not primarily – by the emergence of novel and expensive treatments in the last ten years, particularly in therapeutic fields like oncology and immunology.

Trends in hospital and outpatient pharmaceutical spending indicate that nations are attempting to direct this demand primarily through the hospital setting, perhaps in an effort to monitor the administration process (particularly for medications for serious and life-threatening diseases) and access to cutting-edge treatments. Despite the real incentives, hospital pharmaceutical spending has increased, necessitating a new strategy for market policy-making.”

Measures That Are Suggested

As A Result, The Study’s Authors Suggest The Following Actions:

Hospital drug spending is systematically measured, documented, and recorded in each nation’s national health accounting system.

A distinction between medicines administered in the hospital for monitoring purposes, such as medicines for serious conditions in outpatients, for which a separate budget and reimbursement procedure could be set, and medicines used in the hospital as part of current care practice (typically reimbursed through closed hospitalisations).

A new generation of forecasting tools that account for changes in illness load and improvements in pharmaceutical technology lastly

To improve cost-effectiveness, implement new access and payment schemes for cutting-edge medications, such as managed entry agreements.


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