Cost driver analysis of statin expenditure on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

L. P. Thai, J. R. Moss, B. Godman*, A. I. Vitry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides universal access to subsidized medicines. In 2013, statins as a class had the highest expenditure on the PBS. Objectives: To assess the influence of policies and drivers affecting PBS statin utilization and expenditure between 1992 and 2013. Methods: Analyses conducted from 1992 to 2013 and over three distinct time periods, including monthly expenditure/prescription, annual utilization (calculated as Defined Daily Doses/1000 inhabitants/day) and statin strengths dispensed. Results: The major driver of increased PBS expenditure for statins was increased volumes. After adjusting for inflation, the average PBS expenditure on statin prescriptions was the major negative driver. Other influential drivers included the increased use of newer statins and increased strength of statins dispensed. Discussion: Whilst the inflation-adjusted reimbursed price of statins decreased, increased utilization, including increased use of patented statins, increased total statin expenditure. Successful measures adopted by other countries could be applied to Australia to decrease total medicines expenditure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-433
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • demand-side measures
  • drug utilization research
  • generics
  • guidelines
  • pharmaceutical expenditure
  • prices
  • statins


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