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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


DIAZ GRAVALOS, Gabriel J; PALMEIRO FERNANDEZ, Gerardo; NUNEZ MASID, Eloína  and  CASADO GORRIZ, Inmaculada. Opinion of the primary care physicians of Ourense with respect to certain aspects of their prescription of medicines. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.75, n.4, pp.361-374. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: To learn the opinion of the primary care physicians of Ourense (Spain) with respect to certain aspects of their prescription of medicines, such as their awareness of the price of drugs, the induced prescribing perceived, their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and their opinions concerning possible measures for reducing the expenditure on medicines. Methods: In this transversal descriptive study, all of the primary care physicians in the province of Ourense (243) were surveyed by means of a previously-approved questionnaire sent to them by post. The questionnaire included demographic characteristics of the physicians, the influence of cost when prescribing medicines, their estimate of the price of 15 drugs routinely prescribed and their opinion on different aspects relating to induced prescription, the pharmaceutical industry and different strategies in order to curtail the expenditure on medicines. In order to analyze the results, the c2 and Student’s t tests and an analysis of the variance were used, together with the Spearman correlation coefficient with a = 0.05. Results. The level of participation of the physicians surveyed was 42.8 % (104). The average daily duration of visits by pharmaceutical company representatives was 13.6 minutes, with new specialities being the topic of greatest interest. Close to 27 % admitted to having participated in clinical testing sponsored by the industry. 23 % considered the price to be a priority when prescribing. Induced prescription accounted for 39.7 % of the total. The majority of physicians chose co-payment as the means for reducing expenditure on medicines. In the estimate of prices, the overall percentage of error was 45.7 %, underestimating the more expensive medicines and overestimating the less expensive. Conclusions. There is a significant lack of awareness of the price of drugs among the primary care physicians. Most of the physicians do not feel that the price of a drug should be a priority when prescribing medicines. There is a high percentage of induced prescription perceived. With regard to the expenditure on pharmaceuticals, the majority of those surveyed feel that financial measures, specifically co-payment, are the most effective in order to curtail rising costs.

Keywords : Medical care cost; Primary care; Prescription; Medicines.

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