Getting old is a costly business

July 4, 2007

Independent research, involving over 3 million Italians, conducted by Henley Management College and the University of Milan has concluded that the prescription costs for men over the age of 65 is significantly higher than it is for women. The study is published in the July 4th issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE.

The primary objective of this study was to make the first step in the modelling of pharmaceutical demand in Italy to improve the governance of prescribing funds.

The research found that the mean annual prescription cost per individual was similar for males (196.13 euro) and females (195.12euro). However after 65 years of age, the mean prescribing costs for males were significantly higher than females. On average, costs for a 75-year-old man would be 12 times the costs for a 25-34 year-old subject if male, 8 times if female. Subjects over 65 years of age (22% of total population) accounted for 56% of total prescribing costs.

This research is able to pinpoint the future resources required by the Italian Regional Health Authorities according to the demographics of specific regional populations.

Source: Public Library of Science

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