eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 7

Pharmaceutical market and health system in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries: Time for innovations and changes in policies and actions

Akbar Abdollahias
Shekoufeh Nikfar
Mohammad Abdollahi

Arch Med Sci 2011; 7, 3: 365-367
Online publish date: 2011/07/11
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The pharmaceutical market has some unique specifications in healthcare economics. It has to provide its products to the health systems and usually has to get its profits from reimbursement systems. But both health and reimbursement markets are rather different from free markets in terms of their official rules and being categorized as “market failure”. In such conditions, the first thought that comes to mind is that pharmaceutical activities are somehow dependent on health system indicators. With this thought, we tried to seek any correlation between pharmaceutical market size and some main health indicators in some Middle East and Asian countries in central Asia. Most of the countries included in the study are categorized as low or middle income countries. The primary data were acquired from the World Bank and World Health Organization and are summarized in Table I. Data were analysed using SPSS 6.

Correlation analysis by Pearson’s correlation coefficient (PC) showed that spending on health in the countries strongly depends on their gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (PC = 0.957, p < 0.01). Adult mortality rate (PC = –0.615, p < 0.01), under five year mortality rate (PC = –0.416, p < 0.05), life expectancy (PC = 0.632, p < 0.01) and healthy life expectancy (PC = 0.654, p < 0.01) have a significant correlation with spending on health. Vaccination does not show any significant correlation with health spending. A significant correlation is seen between per capita pharmaceutical consumption (total market/population) and GDP per capita (PC = 0.646, p < 0.01) and health spending per capita (PC = 0.781, p < 0.01).

Per capita pharmaceutical consumption shows a significant correlation with adult mortality rate (PC = –0.522, p < 0.01), under five year mortality rate (PC = –0.410, p < 0.05), life expectancy (PC = 0.562, p < 0.01), and healthy life expectancy (PC = 0.581). The number of physicians has no significant correlation with any health indicators or even the pharmaceutical market (p < 0.01).

These results shows that the development process of a country in the region and growth of GDP per capita have strongly raised health expenditures, but this increase has a small effect on health indicators (PCs < 0.65). Other studies have shown the same results but all of them criticized the correlation between GDP and health indicators because of age, urbanization and other structures of the countries [1, 2]....

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