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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versão On-line ISSN 2173-9110versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727


MARTINEZ-GOROSTIAGA, Javier; ECHEVARRIA-ORELLA, Enrique  e  CALVO-HERNAEZ, Begoña. Influential factors in the quality of prescription in primary care and relation to pharmaceutical expenditure. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201908054.  Epub 07-Set-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


The high pharmaceutical consumption requires establishing improvement measures with the collaboration of all the agents involved. The objective of the study was to analyze the pharmaceutical expenditure generated by prescriptions made by physicians working in a primary care area and assess its relationship with the quality indicators of the prescription.


The prescriptions of 200 family physicians of the Basque Health Service Araba Countyand dispensed by the community pharmacies between 2009 and 2016 were studied. The variables evaluated retrospectively corresponded to the quality indicators of the pharmaceutical prescription included in the Contract-Program of the Basque Department Health of 2016. Prediction models were developed using linear regression and binary logistic regression analysis.


The main factors which increased the pharmaceutical expenditure per person were: the use of novel drugs which do not offer therapeutic improvements, the proportion of pensioners, the use of statins and the use of antiulcer the proton pump inhibitors (PPI). On the contrary, the factors that reduced this expense were: the seniority in the medical position, the physician job stability and the prescription quality index. The profile of the doctor who generated the greatest expense of pharmaceutical prescription was mainly that of a professional who was responsible for a high percentage of pensioners, prescribed a high amount of inhibitors of the enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), prescribed a high amount of first level non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and also showed high use of antiulcer PPI.


There is a statistically significant correlation between physicians who generate lower pharmaceutical expenditure and have a higher quality of prescription. The most influencing factors in the pharmaceutical expenditure are a high percentage of pensioners in the medical quota, the use of novel drugs that do not provide therapeutic improvements and the prescription of statins and anti-ulcer PPI drugs.

Palavras-chave : Primary care; Pharmaceutical expenditure; Use of medicines; Quality of pharmaceutical prescription.

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