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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: Key words Drug utilization ; Estonia
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Objective: To determine the patterns of drug use in Estonia for the years 1989 and 1994–1995, i.e. for the years before and after the pharmaceutical services in the country changed from a state monopoly to a competitive market. Methods: The wholesale data from Estonia and the defined daily doses methodology were used. For comparison, national statistics on medicines from Finland and Sweden for the years 1994–1995 are shown. Results: The general sales of drugs in Estonia decreased almost twofold in all major pharmacological groups from 1989 to 1994 and subsequently increased by 10%–30% in 1995. Substantial differences in patterns of drug use between Estonia and the two Nordic countries were observed. The amount of prescription-only medicines used in Estonia was approximately 25% of that used in Finland and Sweden. The amount of over-the-counter drugs used was 61% of that used in Finland and 58% of that used in Sweden. In the drug use patterns in Estonia, some common trends can be noted: (1) persistent traditions, such as the low use of diuretics, beta-blockers, antithrombotics and inhalant anti-asthmatic drugs; (2) changes in prescription preferences – central anti-adrenergic drugs, pyrazolones, aminoglycosides and barbiturates are being replaced by calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, propionic acid derivatives, cephalosporins and benzodiazepines, respectively; (3) rapidly increasing use of drugs not prescribed in the 1980s, such as hormonal contraceptives, opioids and antiulcer drugs, which strongly improves the quality of pharmacotherapy in Estonia. Conclusion: The general trends in Estonia and the two Nordic countries are similar – the use of newer and more effective drugs is increasing and that of older ones decreasing. The changes are more rapid in Estonia than in Finland and Sweden, but, because of a short observation period, the use of newer drugs not yet prevailing. The international differences in drug utilization observed in this study may possibly be related mainly to the prescription preferences (e.g. therapeutic traditions) and less dependent on the respective health care systems (e.g. reimbursement schemes) and economic state of the country.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: Drug use ; Estonia ; Nordic countries ; geographical difference ; wholesale data
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary Wholesale data from Estonia covering all drug supplies during the period 1983–1989 have been studied using the defined daily dose (DDD) methodology. The use of all major pharmacological groups was compared with the corresponding statistics from the Nordic countries. The patterns of drug use showed large differences between the Nordic countries and Estonia. Many drugs were used in large quantities in Estonia although they are no longer considered to be first-line medications in the Nordic countries because of their high risk to benefit ratio. These included the pyrazolones (phenylbutazone, aminophenazone), chloramphenicol, aminoglycoside antibiotics, and Rauwolfia alkaloids. On the other hand, several groups of effective drugs were available in Estonia only in limited amounts, including the histamine (H2) receptor antagonists, hormonal contraceptives, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and cephalosporins. There were also differences in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood pressure lowering agents, and anti-asthmatic drugs. Amongst the factors influencing drug usage it appears that economic status, the ordering and invoicing routines of the pharmaceutical services, and therapeutic traditions were the main reasons for the differences found.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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