The impact of population ageing on future Danish drug expenditure

Health Policy
Helle Wallach KildemoesMorten Andersen

Abstract

Population ageing is likely to place an increasing burden on future health care budgets. Several studies, however, have demonstrated that the impact of ageing on future hospital expenditures will be overestimated when not accounting for proximity to death. This is because the greater health care expenditures among the elderly are not only due to age per se but due to the high "costs of dying". Similar studies for pharmaceutical expenditures are scarce. The aim of this study was first to estimate the impact of the ageing Danish population on future total expenditures (public outlays as well as private co-payment) on out-of-hospital prescription drugs, holding everything but demographic changes constant. Second, it was to describe the association between age and drug expenditure among survivors compared to that of decedents, and to evaluate the extent to which drug expenditure is increasing with proximity to death in the last 2 years of life. Taking expenditure during the last year of life and the changes in mortality rates into account, future expenditure of prescription drugs was projected by multiplying the estimated mean annual drug expenditure according to age, gender and survival status by the predicted future number of Dan...Continue Reading

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