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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


SEGURA BENITO, María Jesús; MOYA MARTINEZ, Pablo  and  ESCRIBANO SOTOS, Francisco. Pharmaceutical expenditure among primary care physicians in the province of Cuenca (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.5, pp.391-396. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To determine the factors related to pharmaceutical expenditure per primary care physician in the province of Cuenca, which could allow public health authorities to take decisions to curb expenditure. Determining these factors could also be of interest to primary care physicians, specialists, health authorities, health economists, and health management researchers. Methods: We performed a multiple linear regression analysis with three dependent variables to determine which factors explain variability in generic drug prescription, the referral rate, and pharmaceutical expenditure among primary care physicians. Results: Not being a resident physician, practicing in a town with more than 10,000 people and having a large patient list had a negative impact on the percentage of generic drugs prescribed. Physicians using electronic medical records and with a high referral rate to specialized care prescribed fewer generic drugs. The two most important factors explaining pharmaceutical expenditure were having a large patient list and a high percentage of patients aged more than 65 years old. Expenditure was reduced by greater prescription of generic drugs and was increased by a larger proportion of elderly patients on the patient list. Conclusions: After controlling for the size of the patient list, the proportion of elderly patients and other factors, the percentage of generic drugs prescribed was one of the most important factors explaining pharmaceutical expenditure in primary care physicians.

Keywords : Pharmaceutical expenditure; Multivariate analysis; Primary health care.

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