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Table 1 Previous Studies

From: Factors influencing the variation in GMS prescribing expenditure in Ireland

Country Author Findings
British Colombia (2006) Morgan [24] A population study on drug expenditure in 1996 and 2002 found 75 % of total drug costs were accounted for by 5 ATC groups in descending order of expenditure, ‘C’, ‘N’, ‘A’, ‘G’ (Genito Urinary System & Sex Hormones) and ‘J’ (Anti-infectives for Systemic Use).
Sweden (1998) Gerdtham et al. [34] This study identified ATC group ‘N’ contributed the most to drug expenditure.
Sweden (2004) Gerdtham & Lundin [35] This study identified ATC groups ‘N’, ‘C’ ‘and ‘A’ contributed the most to drug expenditure.
Sweden (2003) Klarin et al. [36] A study carried out on an elderly population (84+) found ‘C’, ‘N’ and ‘A’ were the most commonly prescribed drugs.
Spain (2011) Vivas et al. [13] This study reported the cost of drugs used to treat hyperlipidemia (from ATC ‘C’), respiratory illnesses, asthma (from ATC ‘R’) and diabetes (from ATC ‘A’) represents 37 % of total pharmaceutical expenditure on chronic conditions in Valencia.
Ireland (2006) Naughton et al. [21] A study based on an elderly Irish population (≥70 years) found that Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the most prevalent condition across all regions using a 2006 PCRS pharmacy database.
Various Studies [3, 10, 20, 26, 30, 37] A number of studies have identified age as a factor influencing pharmaceutical spending.
United States (1997) Mueller et al. [30] A study in the United States found the elderly (65+) accounted for 34 % of total pharmaceutical expenditure, children (≤17) accounted for 9 %, and those aged (18–64) accounted for the remaining 57 %. Of total drug expenditure, 41 % was spent on cardiovascular and renal drugs and 14 % on respiratory tract drugs.
3 European Countries (2008) Sturkenboom et al. [20] This study found that respiratory drugs were the most prescribed drugs and cardiovascular drugs were the least prescribed drugs for children (≤18).
Spain (2008) Fernandez et al. [26] A study in Catalonia, investigated how age influenced drug utilisation and found drug use was highest among infants (0–4) and those aged 55 and older.
Ireland (2015) Conway et al. [10] A recent study identified children (≤11) and the over 65 s as the two key drivers of future GMS costs in Ireland.
Various Studies [2, 13, 23, 37] Several studies have reported that females are more likely to utilise drugs than males.
United States (2000) Steinberg et al. [37] Males aged 65 and over were 50 % more likely not to be prescribed any drugs.
Sweden (2013) Loikas et al. [23] This study examined gender differences in drug prescribing and found 59 % of men and 76 % of women were dispensed at least one drug. Females were found to be prescribed more nervous drugs and males more lipid lowering (cardiovascular) drugs.
Various Studies [12, 14, 15] Geographical location is also considered in international studies as a predictor of pharmaceutical expenditure.
United States (2003) Wrobel et al. [12] A Medicare study examined the predictability of drug expenditure and found demographic variables (age, sex, disability & geographic location), explained only 5 % of the variation in drug expenditure. The inclusion of health status measures improved the explanatory power considerably.