Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 269–275 | Cite as

A qualitative approach to the use of economic data in the selection of medicines for hospital formularies: a French survey

  • Hans-Martin Späth
  • Marie Charavel
  • Magali Morelle
  • Marie-Odile Carrere


Objective: Qualitative interviews were conducted with pharmacists in hospitals and clinics in the Rhône-Alpes region of France to determine the role of economic data when selecting medicines for formularies, to identify barriers to the use of this information and to study to what degree a healthcare establishment's financing system influences the use of this data.Method: A stratified sample of healthcare establishments with over 100 short-stay beds were included: (1) thirteen public and semi-private hospitals financed through annual global budgets and (2) six private clinics financed on a fee-for-service basis. Interviews were carried out between October 1999 and January 2000, and coded independently by two researchers.Main outcome measure: A multiple correspondence analysis was performed to compare the two groups of healthcare establishments.Results: The influence of economic data in the decision-making process is limited, for other factors appear to have greater weight: (1) efficacy and safety of medicines (2) relations between decision-makers and the pharmaceutical industry and (3) patient quality of life. Economic data used was mainly related to medication prices and quantities consumed. This data was used in a large number of decisions and seemed to have more importance in hospitals than in clinics. Information related to resources that could be saved by the inclusion of a new medicine on formularies was seldom used and apparently considered less important in hospitals than in clinics. Pharmacoeconomic evaluations were very rarely used. Six barriers to the use of economic data were raised by the pharmacists, including: lack of time, which limits the collection and analysis of such information; insufficient health economics training, an obstacle to decision-makers' analytical capacity; and closed budgets within hospitals.Conclusion: Economic data concerning ‘medication budgets’ appears to have a greater impact in public and semi-private hospitals than in private clinics. Obstacles linked to the decision-making context itself were particularly highlighted, and it can be concluded that in order to increase the use of economic data, it is first necessary to create an environment that is more favourable to its application.

Correspondence analysis Decision-making Drug formulary Drug information Economic evaluation France Hospital finance Interview Pharmacoeconomics 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Martin Späth
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie Charavel
    • 3
  • Magali Morelle
    • 4
  • Marie-Odile Carrere
    • 4
  1. 1.GRESAC, UMR 5823 du CNRS, Centre Léon BérardLyonFrance
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et BiologiquesUniversité Lyon 1LyonFrance e-mail
  3. 3.Université Grenoble 2GrenobleFrance
  4. 4.Centre Léon BérardLyonFrance

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