Trends in Prescribing in Primary Care in Croatia, 2000-2012: Prescibing Volume, Costs and Regulatory Measures

Željko Vojvodić, Darja Nelken - Bestvina, Alma Kurc - Bionda, Danijela Štimac


The rise of pharmaceutical costs is a significant burden to overall health care expenditure.

The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) in attempts of its containment, uses

administrative measures directed toward the two greatest generators: pharmaceutical

industry, through negotiating prices and periodic revisions of  basic and suplemental lists,

and primary care physicians, through limits in the volume of prescriptions, and annual

financial expenditure. The aim of the study was to determine trends in quantity of issued

prescriptions and pharmaceutical expanditure  from 2000 to 2012. Data were obtained from

the CHIF annual reports. Results clearly demonstrate two trends: the increase in quantity

of issued prescriptions, together with accompanying rates of prescriptions per inhabitants,

and per patients, and the increase in total cost of prescriptions until 2004, with their

maintenance and slight variations since then. Despite controversies in approach, CHFI

succeded in slowing down the costs, primarily by applying measures towards regulation of

drug prices.


number of prescriptions, pharmaceutical spending, cost containment

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