Aim: To assess the utilization of renin-angiotensin drugs, including combinations, in Austria in practice given the limited availability of diuretics, as well as the impact of recent reforms and initiatives on the utilization and expenditure of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), following prescribing restrictions on ARBs immediately after their introduction. Methods: Utilization of dispensed prescriptions in ambulatory care was captured from 2001 to 2007 using defined daily doses as well as defined daily doses/1000 inhabitants/day for patients covered by the social health-insurance system. The data were provided by the internal data warehouse of Hauptverband der sterreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger. Total costs in Euros were used for the analysis to facilitate comparisons with earlier studies. Results: There was appreciable utilization of fixed-dose diuretic combinations at between 36 and 38% of all renin-angiotensin products, in line with expectations. The reduction in expenditure/defined daily dose for originator and generic ACEis and their combinations is, again, in line with expectations, mirroring earlier findings for proton pump inhibitors and statins. ARB utilization was just under 27% of all renin-angiotensin products. This is higher than the low utilization rates seen with atorvastatin following its prescribing restrictions, and may reflect the difficulties if restrictions are based on subjective criteria. ARB utilization rates were lower or similar to other countries, who have implemented a different range of demand-side reforms to limit their prescribing with the advent of generic ACEis. Conclusion: The results confirm the successful implementation of the latest pricing policies and demand-side measures for generics and originators in Austria. We believe the prescribing restrictions for ARBs reduced their utilization in practice and offer an alternative approach to other demand-side measures.
|Number of pages
|Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
|Published - Apr 2010
- Drug expenditure
- Drug utilization