NEED OF PHARMACOECONOMICS IN INDIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: A BRIEF REVIEW

Pharma courses

pharma courses



About Authors:
Hinchagri S S 1*, Halakatti P K2,  Devar S B2, Biradar B S2, Kankanwadi S K2, Patil S D2
1. HKES’s College of Pharmacy, Sedam Road, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India
2. HSK College of Pharmacy, BVVS’s Campus, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India

*shivanand.hinchageri95@gmail.com

Abstract:
In India, nearly 3.1 million households below the poverty line and those are unaffordable for private health care. Cost of medicines are growing constantly as new medicines are marketed and are under patent law, preference of drug therapy over invasive therapy, and the irrational drug prescription. In a developing country like India 85% of total health expenditure is financed by house-hold, out-of–pocket expenditure. The proportion of insurance in health-care financing in India is very low. Many poor people frequently face a choice between buying medicines or buying food or other necessities due to limited resources and high pricing of drug. So medicine prices do matter. The main objective of study is to show the importance of pharmacoeconomic evaluation in Indian health care. Methods to be used for pharmacoeconomic evaluation are Cost-effectiveness analysis, Cost minimization analysis, Cost-benefit analysis and Cost-utility analysis. Review of pharmacoeconomic evaluation sample studies shows the pharmacoeconomics became more important 1. To find the optimal therapy at the lowest price. 2. Numerous drug alternatives and empowered consumers also fuel the need for economic evaluations of pharmaceutical products. 3. The use of economic evaluations of alternative healthcare outcomes. 4. Healthcare resources are not easily accessible and affordable to many patients; therefore pharmacoeconomic evaluations play an important role in the allocation of these resources. The study concludes that in India the pharmacoeconomic evaluation is essential to optimal therapy at lowest price, alternative treatment plans, which help the poor and middle class Indians to obtain well health care services.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1277

INTRODUCTION:
Pharmacoeconomics is defined as “A branch of health economics which particularly focuses upon the costs and benefits of drug therapy”. Most clinicians have little exposure to health economics, as it is a relatively new discipline in the health sciences. It is important that pharmacoeconomic concept be understood not only by policy-makers, health administrators and health managers, but also by primary care providers. Nowadays, in India, Pharma field with various new drugs, usually of the same family having properties similar to the available (older) drugs. This makes it difficult for the treating physician to judiciously decide which drugs to use. Before prescribing any new drug therapy, two questions must be answered (i) Whether the new drug is equally or more efficacious in the said disease as compared to the standard treatment; and (ii) Does the new drug have any economic advantage over the existing drugs.1

Health-Care System and Health-Care Financing System2,3:
India is the world’s largest democracy. The enormous growth in wealth has not been distributed equally and the gap between the health of the richest and poorest continues to widen in India. The poor and middle class peoples do not have the same level of access to high quality health care as the wealthy.

In Indian health-care practices, allopathic (western), complementary and alternative medicine (ayurveda, unani, siddah and homeopathy) operate side by side. Many patients switch from one practice to another when relief is not adequate. Higher-quality public health-care system exists only in larger cities, but is virtually nonexistent in villages. The many patients are unaffordable for private health care. The challenge before India is to make health care accessible for the majority of its people. Allopathic health care has emerged as one of the largest service sectors in India. India spends only 5% annual gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. Of this, most of the expenditure (about 80%) is private out-of-pocket (OOP). High out-of-pocket costs make health services inaccessible to a significant proportion of Indian households. In India, nearly 3.1 million additional households slip to levels below the poverty line ($1 per day) per annum as a result of hospitalization expenditure. Of the total US $24 million spent on health care in India, the private sector health-care spending is approximately 77% of the total amount (US $18,643 million). Of this, 86% is OOP expenditure. Public sector expenditure is 21% (US $4953 million), and the external aid accounts for 2% (US $565 million). The proportion of insurance in health-care financing in India is very low. Only around 10% of the population is covered through health financing schemes. Selection criteria by suppliers often restrict the poor (and more likely to be ill) from affordable prepayment schemes. The voluntary health insurance market, which is estimated at Rs 4 billion (US $86.3 million) currently. Because India is a highly populated and vast country, health is a state subject. Previous some studies from India have found reasons such as high absenteeism, poor quality of services, rampant corruption and long travel distances as prominent reasons for poor access of public sector health facilities. Those accessing private providers largely encounter unlicensed practitioners who deliver poor quality care. High costs exist in private sector because of a lack of regulation.

History4:
The term Pharmacoeconomics was first time used in public forum was in 1986, at meeting of pharmacist in Toronto, Canada, when Ray Townsend from the Upjohn company, used the term in presentation. Ray and few other had been performing studies using the term pharmacoeconomics within the pharmaceutical industry since the early eighties today pharmacoeconomics research is a flourishing industry with many practioners, a large research and application agenda, several journals and flourishing professional societies including the international society for pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Why did the term catch on? The pharmacoeconomics started with a study of the cost-effectiveness of AZT for the treatment of persons with AIDS.

Need of Pharmacoeconomic:
The demand for and the cost of health care are increasing in all countries as the improvement in and sophistication of health technologies. Cost of medicines are growing constantly as new medicines are marketed and are under patent law, preference of drug therapy over invasive therapy, discovering various off label uses of existing drugs (Cooke, 2003) and the irrational drug prescription. All over the world patients are affected by high price of medicines. In a developing country like India 85% of total health expenditure is financed by house-hold out-of–pocket expenditure (Godwin et al., 2007). Many poor people frequently face a choice between buying medicines or buying food or other necessities due to limited resources and high pricing of drug. So medicine prices do matter.5
Pharmacoeconomics has become more important over the past 20 years, due to an increased emphasis on efficient drug therapies for disease, which increase health costs, etc. 1. Rising health expenditures have led to the necessity to find the optimal therapy at the lowest price. Pharmacoeconomics is an innovative method that aims to decrease health expenditures, whilst optimising healthcare results. 2.  Pharmaceutical expenditures, which constitute a large part of healthcare expenditures, have been increasing much faster than total healthcare expenditures. 3. Numerous drug alternatives and empowered consumers also fuel the need for economic evaluations of pharmaceutical products. 4. The increasing cost of healthcare products and services has become a great concern for patients, healthcare professionals, insurers, politicians and the public. 5. This increasing concern has prompted demand for the use of economic evaluations of alternative healthcare outcomes. This escalation in healthcare spending is due to increased lifeexpectancy, increased technology, increased expectations, increased standards of living and an increased demand in healthcare quality and services. 6. Healthcare resources are not easily accessible and affordable to many patients, therefore pharmacoeconomic evaluations play an important role in the allocation of these resources.6

FIG 1: Issues in Pharmacoeconomic evaluation

NOW YOU CAN ALSO PUBLISH YOUR ARTICLE ONLINE.

SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLE/PROJECT AT articles@pharmatutor.org

Subscribe to PharmaTutor Alerts by Email

FIND OUT MORE ARTICLES AT OUR DATABASE


 

Pages

FIND MORE ARTICLES