Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Prescription costs rise more than six times when patients reach 65 says study of five million people

13.03.2008
Prescribing costs increase dramatically when people reach 65, according to a detailed analysis of more than five million patients published in the March issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Average costs were six-and-a-half times higher than for people under 65 and 16 times higher than for children under four.

When researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona looked at the primary care records of 5.47 million patients in Catalonia, they found that just under three-quarters had been prescribed at least one drug and that women were 23 per cent more likely to receive a prescription.

But the outstanding finding was the significant cost differences based on the ages of the patients. When the researchers looked at the average number of drugs that patients were prescribed, people over 75 had almost eight times as many prescriptions as children under four years of age.

And the cost differentials for people over 65 were much higher than the four-and-a half times’ increase reported by a previous study in 1993.

“This is probably due to a number of factors” explains lead researcher Professor Eduardo L Marino from the Faculty’s Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacotherapy Unit. “Our population is progressively ageing, we are better at detecting problems than 15 years ago and more expensive drugs are being developed.”

Being able to predict prescribing costs is very important, he adds, especially when there are so many demands and pressures on healthcare budgets.

“We looked at prescribing by gender, breaking down patients into ten age categories and analysing their use of 15 different categories of drugs” he says.

“This enabled us to build up a very clear picture of what sort of drugs people were taking, depending on their age and gender.”

Other key findings of the study included:

•Overall prescribing rates were highest in children under four (85 per cent of boys and 81 per cent of girls) and adults over 54.

•The only categories not to reach 100 per cent prescribing rates over the age of 54 were men aged 55 to 64 (85 per cent) and men who were 85 years plus (91 per cent).

•The most common prescriptions for children under four were for pain killers and fever-reducing drugs, followed by cough suppressants.

•The authors found a higher use of antibiotics in children under 14 than reported in other studies and suggested that this could indicate that doctors were over prescribing them.

•Female patients were prescribed more drugs than men (81 per cent compared to 68 per cent), except in children under 15 where the percentage was higher in males.

•Women were more than twice as likely to use antidepressants as men (12 per cent versus five per cent) and this was most notable in the 35 to 44 age group.

“Our study underlines the significantly higher costs of prescribing to older patients and this information is vital at a time when we face a progressively ageing population” concludes co-author Eladio Fernandez-Liz of the Institut Catala de la Salut, who analysed the data. “It also provides a detailed breakdown of the drugs most commonly prescribed in ten age groups and by gender.

“By combining this information with details of the local patient population, our study can help healthcare providers to predict future prescription costs and look at specific health interventions in those age groups with the heaviest prescription drug use.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/bcp

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>