Budgetary Impact of Covering “Me-Too” Drugs from Social Security: Buenos Aires State Case Report
The majority of new drugs that are register at Health Global Market are not considered real innovations and due to their chemical structure similarity of reference’s group drug, they are known as “me-too”. These “me too” drugs has no additional therapeutic benefits but greatly increasing treatment´s. PURPOSE: To demonstrate the economic impact in Social Security budget by covering “me too” medicines. METHODS: An epidemiological-descriptive-analytical study was performed in order to analyze the burden of anti-hypertensive prescription from patients under coverage by Buenos Aires State Social Security. Two types of medicines were compared: “pioneer” or “me-too”. Variables considered were: type of drug, class or therapeutical group of medicines, global costs, burden for social security and for patients. RESULTS: From 185865 patients that received medication; in 121748 of the cases the strategy was monotherapy while 64117 received at least two or more medicines. 189714 were reference drugs while 64393 of them were considered “me-too”. In average, “me-too” drugs were 41.23% more expensive than classical treatment. The percentage covered by IOMA varies according to the medicines (between 45 to 51%) and patients must complete the amount of money remaining from their pockets. Paradoxically, the percentage covered by IOMA some “me-too” were greater than the percentage paid for most classic medications of each group. CONCLUSIONS: By only choosing the drug of reference, with proven effectiveness, from each therapeutical group, the State Social Security could cover 100% of the cost of all anti-hypertensive treatment and all patients even saving almost 2 million dollars per year.
Keywords: Health, Policies, Medicines, Me too, Economical Burden, Coverage, anti-hypertensive
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