Cost driver analysis of statin expenditure on Australia’s pharmaceutical benefits scheme

Thai, L. P. and Moss, J. R. and Godman, B. and Vitry, A. I. (2016) Cost driver analysis of statin expenditure on Australia’s pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. pp. 419-433. ISSN 1473-7167 (

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The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides universal access to subsidised medicines. In 2013, statins as a class had the highest expenditure on the PBS. To assess the influence of policies and drivers affecting PBS statin utilisation and expenditure between 1992 and 2013. Analyses conducted from 1992 to 2013 and over three distinct time periods, including monthly expenditure/prescription, annual utilisation (calculated as Defined Daily Doses/1000 inhabitants/day) and statin strengths dispensed. The major driver of increased PBS expenditure for statins was increased volumes. After adjusting for inflation, the average PBS expenditure on statin prescriptions was the major negative driver. Other influential drivers included the increased use of newer statins and increased strength of statins dispensed. Whilst the inflation-adjusted reimbursed price of statins decreased, increased utilisation, including increased use of patented statins, increased total statin expenditure. Successful measures adopted by other countries could be applied to Australia to decrease total medicines expenditure.