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Department of Health Economics (DHE)

Equity in medicine use in Central Eastern Europe: an empirical investigation of eight countries

Date: 2014-2015
Collaborator(s): Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG); Institut für Sozialpolitik, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU Wien)
Information: Susanne Mayer

Access to essential medicines is widely regarded as a human right. Despite a growing body of literature focusing on access to and use of health care, there is still very limited evidence on the extent and the character of inequalities in the use of medicines, even more so in a comparative perspective. The transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe are no exception. This study thus aimed to analyse whether or not socioeconomic determinants influence the use of prescribed and non-prescribed medicines in eight Central and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia) and to investigate to what extent observed inequalities can be explained by current (lack of) pharmaceutical policies. The analysis was based on household data from the first wave of the European Health Interview Survey and a comparative analysis of national pharmaceutical policies (2007-2009) in terms of four policy dimensions (sustainable funding, affordability, availability and accessibility, and rational selection and use of medicines).