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  • drug utilisation  (4)
  • geographical differences  (3)
  • Estonia  (2)
  • Springer  (8)
  • 1
    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.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: Diabetes ; antidiabetic drugs ; drug utilization ; prescribing habits ; geographical differences ; methodology
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary In a comparison of three European countries Sweden utilized more antidiabetic drugs than Northern Ireland and Norway. Swedish wholesale figures for a quarter of a year used for the comparison were based on “daily doses”/1000 inhabitants/day. In order to validate the Swedish figures, a defined geographical area was investigated in 1972–1973, the island of Gotland with 54000 inhabitants. Antidiabetic drugs distributed on a wholesale basis were compared with those distributed on a prescription basis. Additional information was gathered (interviews, questionnaires, hospital records etc.) from a sample of patients (n=54) and their prescribing doctors (n=37). There was good agreement between the wholesale and prescription figures for oral antidiabetic drugs over a three month period (30.0 vs 29.8 “daily doses”/1000 inhabitants/day), but this did not apply to insulin (5.9 vs 7.2) unless a longer time period was studied. The average daily doses prescribed were higher than the theoretically derived “daily doses”. Combination antidiabetic drug therapy was preseribed for 28% of the patients. Thirteen different oral antidiabetics were issued during the study period, four of which constituted 90% of the total. Phenformin, the second most commonly prescribed oral antidiabetic drug was prescribed by 33 doctors, and metformin was prescribed by only 14 doctors. Few patients were treated with diet alone and few doctors could obtain assistance from a dietician. There was little or no evidence that patients failed to comply with the prescriptions, but by contrast they adhered poorly to written dietary instructions.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: compliance ; prescribing habits ; drug utilisation ; age effect ; multiple therapies
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The drug history of 285 consecutive patients admitted to two medical wards of a Swedish university hospital was investigated. In 30 cases (11%) no information about current drug therapy could be obtained from the patients themselves, and in further 21 (7%) additional drugs from other sources were discovered. Current drug therapy of 234 patients (82%) was identified, of whom 217 had medicines supplied by prescription and 52 used drugs bought over the counter. The medication was “chronic” for 85% of the prescribed drugs, and 18% were prescribed to be taken as required. Significantly more women than men were taking medicines, but, amongst the users, there was no significant difference in the number of drugs taken by men or women. The average number of drugs prescribed for the 217 patients was 3.7, more being prescribed for the older patients. Cardiovascular and psychotropic medicines were the agents most commonly prescribed. Digoxin was prescribed for 65 patients. The mean daily dose was 0.20 mg, and it was reduced for older patients and for those with elevated serum creatinine. Twelve patients (19%) had no measurable digoxin in their plasma; the median concentration was 1.15 nmol/l. Ten of 32 patients (31%) had a significant change in their plasma digoxin concentration after supervised drug intake in hospital, indicating previous irregular intake of digoxin. Compliance with the prescribed drug regimen was evaluated from interviews of 151 patients. Of them, 59 (39%) were classified as having been non-compliant for half their drugs during the last two days prior to admission. Non-compliance was reported significantly more often by patients who were aged 65 years or more, and who had more than three drugs prescribed for regular intake. The number of drugs prescribed did not seem to influence compliance in patients under 65 years of age. Significantly more doses were reported to be missed for drugs meant to be taken thrice daily (31%), than for those with once (18%) or twice (20%) daily dosage schedule. The difference between once and twice daily schedules was not significant.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: chlorpropamide ; diabetes ; drug utilisation ; patient compliance ; diet ; plasma concentration ; maturity onset diabetes
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary Serum chlorpropamide concentrations (s-CPA) were determined and related to clinical findings in 83 outpatients with maturity onset diabetes. The daily doses of CPA (mg/kg) varied six-fold, but s-CPA ranged 18-fold between the patients. There was a significant correlation between dose and s-CPA (r=0.61), which rose to 0.75 in the 30 patients who had prescribed no other drugs. Patients given other drugs concomitantly were over-represented amongst subjects with extreme values of apparent plasma clearance of CPA. There was no correlation either between serum creatinine or age and s-CPA. Of the 83 patients 40 (48%) had acceptable blood and urinary glucose values according to our criteria; but as 17 were overweight, only 23 patients (28%) had acceptable clinical control. Of the remaining 60 patients, too low a dose was being given to only 12, and dietary failure was the most probable explanation in the others. Thirteen patients (16%) probably did not need CPA. It is likely that this is a partial explanation for the high utilisation of oral antidiabetic drugs in Sweden. There was no general correlation between dose or s-CPA and blood glucose values, but analysis of s-CPA may still be of value in explaining unexpected changes in clinical control.
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  • 5
    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.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: Diabetes ; insulin ; sulphonylureas ; biguanides ; drug utilization ; geographical differences
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The consumption of insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs was measured at the gross sales level in Sweden and Norway and at the prescription level in Northern Ireland. “Agreed daily doses” were used as units of comparison, which defined as follows: insulin 40 I.U., tolbutamide 1 g, acetohexamide 500 mg etc. Consumption was expressed as the number of “agreed daily doses” per 1,000 inhabitants per day. This provided a rough estimate of the number of subjects for whom the drug had been prescribed per 1,000 population. The data were collected during the three months April – June 1971. Marked differences in the consumption of antidiabetic drugs were found between the three countries and also between areas within each country. The consumption of insulin was similar in Norway and Northern Ireland (3.5 and 3.9 agreed daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day), but almost twice as high in Sweden. In Norway much lower use was found in certain rural areas. The variation in the consumption of oral antidiabetic drugs was even more marked. Surprisingly, consumption was considerably higher in Sweden (15.8) than in the nearby Norway (7.3), and was even lower in Northern Ireland (4.3). The major use was of sulphonylureas, especially chlorpropamide. Within the countries there was marked regional variation in the choice of individual biguanides and sulphonylureas. The data are discussed in relation to such factors as the incidence of diabetes, the sole use of dietary treatment etc. It is concluded that studies in depth, which link the actual use of drugs by patients to diagnosis, diabetic symptoms and clinical outcome of treatment are necessary in order to explore the reasons behind the marked geographical differences and to define a rational drug policy. However, the methods described in the study may be used for early detection of gross national differences in drug utilization, the further investigation of which may reveal to be of great public health interest.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: Psychotropic drugs ; drug utilisation ; geographical differences ; prescribing habits
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary Marked differences in the utilisation of psychotropic drugs between the three major urban areas in Sweden were recorded from four sources of information: drug supplies from wholesalers to pharmacies, drug supplies to hospitals for in-patient use, drugs sold on prescription for out-patient use, and out-patient consultation and drug prescribing as recorded by physicians. The total sales of psychotropics in the counties of Gothenburg (110,8 defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day) and Malmö (102,1) were much higher than in the county of Stockholm (73,4), with about 25% of the difference being accounted for by diazepam. Differences in the total sales of psychotropics were not explained by any differences in hospital sales, which amounted to about 10% in all counties. Prescription sales differed due to the higher average number of DDD (defined daily doses) per prescription in Gothenburg and Malmö than in Stockholm (total psychotropics 8 and 15%, respectively), and especially because of the higher number of prescriptions per inhabitant (about 40 and 30–35%, respectively). There was no substantial difference in the pattern of diagnoses between areas, but there was a noticeable difference with regard to prescriber category, as psychiatrists accounted for more of the prescriptions in Stockholm than in Gothenburg and Malmö. The results raise questions about over- and under-treatment of mental disorders and about abuse of drugs. In order to explain the geographical differences in psychotropic drug sales morbidity patterns and prescribing practices should be further explored.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: drug utilisation ; prescribing habits ; hypnotics ; sedatives ; minor tranquillisers ; defined daily doses ; therapeutic audit
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The utilisation of hypnotics, sedatives, and minor tranquillisers (HSmT) was studied by means of drug-delivery and hospital occupancy statistics for 1975–1977 in a Swedish university hospital. A total of 0.53 so-called defined daily doses (DDD)/bed-day were delivered in 1975, implying that every second patient might have regularly been prescribed HSmT. The benzodiazepines were predominant with 71% of the deliveries. Five major drugs accounted for 88%. The drug pattern and the range of DDD/bed-day (0.09–1.18) differed considerably between the departments. Drugs not recommended by the hospital's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee accounted only for 3% of deliveries. In a drug surveillance study performed in two medical wards, HSmT were prescribed for 43% of 274 patients. Drug delivery and prescription data were in broad agreement. Drug information activities in the hospital had a clearly discernable influence on the delivered DDD/bed-day. This measure is an inexpensive indicator of drug utilisation in a hospital and a suitable basis for therapeutic audit.
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