Do Physicians’ Perceptions of Drug Costs Influence Their Prescribing?
- 27 Downloads
This study examines general practitioner (GP) attitudes towards and knowledge of prescribing costs, and the influence of these 2 factors in the doctor’s demand for drugs. The main emphasis of the study is on the influence of perceived cost of drugs on prescribing habits.
A postal questionnaire was sent to all 273 GPprincipals in the Grampian region of Scotland. This questionnaire assessed GPs’ attitudes and knowledge with respect to prescribing costs. Information was also collected on the prescribing habits of 176 of these GPs. This information was linked to look at the influence GPs’ knowledge of drug costs has on their actual prescribing behaviour. Three drug groups were studied: ulcer—healing drugs, pain—killers and penicillins.
The results showed that although most GPs agreed that costs should be borne in mind when prescribing medicines, their actual knowledge of drug costs was often inaccurate. Furthermore, for certain therapeutic groups, prescribing habits are influenced by GPs’ perceptions of drug costs. This implies that GPs are not as averse to considering costs as is often assumed, and that giving GPs better information about drug costs might promote more rational prescribing.
KeywordsAdis International Limited Cimetidine Ranitidine National Health Service Drug Cost
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Office of Health Economics Compendium of Health Statistics. London: Office of Health Economics, 1994Google Scholar
- 2.Yule B, Fordyce I, Bond C, et al. The ‘limited list’ in general practice: implications for the costs and effectiveness of prescribing. Health Economics Research Unit Discussion Paper No. 01/88. Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen, 1988Google Scholar
- 3.Harris CM, Heywood PL, Clayden AD. The analysis of prescribing in general practice. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1990Google Scholar
- 4.Scottish Home and Health Department. Introducing Scottish prescribing analysis. Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1990Google Scholar
- 5.Secretaries of State for Health, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Working for patients (Cm 555). London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1989Google Scholar
- 10.Lowy DR, Lowy L, Warner RS. A survey of physicians’ awareness of drug costs. J Med Educ 1972; 147: 349–51Google Scholar
- 16.Glickmim L, Bruce E, Caro F, et al. Physician’s knowledge of drug costs for the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1991; 42: 992–6Google Scholar
- 17.Skipper J, Smoth G, Mulligan J, et al. Physicians’ knowledge of cost: the case of diagnostic tests. Inquiry 1976; 3: 194–8Google Scholar
- 19.Reekie WD. Price sensitivity of general practitioners. In: Phillips CI, Wolfe IN, editors. Clinical practice and economics. Bath: Pitman, 1977: 169–84Google Scholar
- 21.Segal R, Helper CD. Prescribers’ beliefs and values as predictors of drug choices. Am J Hosp Pharm 1982: 39: 1391–7Google Scholar
- 24.Janknegt R, Steenhoek A. Keuzecriteria voor geneesmiddelen bij een ‘eenvoudige cystitis’. Tijdschr Ther Oeneesm Onderz 1988: 13: 204–8Google Scholar
- 25.Janknegt R, Smelik J, Steenhoek A. Betablokkers: keuzecriteria en produktvoorkeur Resultaten van een onderzoek bij vijftigartsen. Pharm Weekbl 1990: 125: 676–80Google Scholar
- 26.Miller RR. Prescribing habits of physicians: a review of studies on prescribing of drugs. Drug Intell Clin Pharm 1973: 7: 560–4Google Scholar
- 33.Taylor RJ, Bond CM. Change in the established prescribing habits of general practitioners: an analysis of initial prescriptionsin general practice. Br J Oen Pract 1991: 41: 244–8Google Scholar
- 35.British National Formulary. London: British Medical Association/Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Oreat Britain, 1990 MarGoogle Scholar
- 37.Maddala GS. Limited—dependent and qualitative variables in econometrics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983Google Scholar