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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MORERA SALAS, Melvin; APARICIO LLANOS, Amada; XIRINACHS SALAZAR, Yanira  and  BARBER PEREZ, Patricia. Consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents in primary care in Costa Rica: changing patterns and geographical variability. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.6, pp.458-464. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To determine changing patterns and variability in consumption of classic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) among the health areas in Costa Rica between 2000 and 2005. Methods: The drugs studied were ibuprofen, indomethacin, penicillamine, sulindac, tenoxicam, and diclofenac sodium. To measure consumption, we used the defined daily dose per 1,000 inhabitants per day (DID). To analyze variability, the coefficient of variation weighed by the population size (CVw), extremal ratio, interquartile ratio, dot plot and map graphs were used. Results: From 2000-2005, NSAID consumption increased by 48% and the annual cost rose by 184%. The drugs with greatest consumption and participation in cost were sulindac and indomethacin. NSAID consumption varied between 0.1 and 61.8 DID according to health areas, with a CVw of 66.8%. Variability was greatest with penicillamine (CVw = 449.89%) and tenoxicam (CVw = 315.26%). Conclusions: Clearly differentiated geographical patterns in NSAID consumption were found in Costa Rica, with very different rates within the same region. According to the results obtained, two factors associated with this variability were the supply of health services and the percentage of the population aged 65 years or more within the catchment area.

Keywords : Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Variations in physician practice; Defined daily dose per 1,000 inhabitants per day; Pharmacoeconomics; Health economics.

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