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Pharmaceutical expenditure

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Spending on pharmaceuticals accounts for a significant proportion of total health spending in OECD countries. Increased consumption of pharmaceuticals due to the diffusion of new drugs and the ageing of populations (see Indicator 4.10 "Pharmaceutical consumption") has been a major factor contributing to increased pharmaceutical expenditure and thus overall heath expenditure (OECD, 2008d). However, the relationship between pharmaceutical spending and total health spending is a complex one, in that increased expenditure on pharmaceuticals to tackle diseases may reduce the need for costly hospitalisation and intervention now or in the future.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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