, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 299–312 | Cite as

Drug Utilisation Studies as Tools in Health Economics

  • José A. Sacristén
  • Javier Soto
Review Article


Drug utilisation and many pharmacoeconomic studies use pharmacoepidemiological methods characterised by the study of drugs from a socioeconomic perspective. Drug utilisation studies may be defined as studies of the marketing, distribution, prescription and use of drugs in a society, with special emphasis on the resulting medical, social and economic consequences. Pharmacoeconomic studies are used to measure drug efficiency, through comparison of the costs and effects of alternative therapies.

Drug utilisation studies can provide highly valuable information, at a reasonable price, on the costs and effects (harmful and beneficial) of drugs. Such studies make available much useful information including indirect data on morbidity, the pharmaceutical component of the treatment cost of an illness, therapeutic compliance, the incidence of adverse reactions, the effectiveness of drug consumption and the choice of comparators. This information can k of great use in the subsequent elaboration of phamacoeconomic studies, or in the selection of problematic areas in which these studies may be applied.

Pharmacoeconomic studies, in turn, can be used to discover the economic repercussions of inappropriate prescribing and to quantify the cost effectiveness of various therapeutic interventions.

The use of drug utilisation studies in conjunction with pharmacoeconornic analysis can result in more cost effective utilisation of medicines and a better utilisation of pharmacoeconomic methods, both of which contribute to a more rational use of drugs.


Drug Consumption Drug Utilisation Pharmacoeconomic Study Drug Utilisation Review Drug Utilisation Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • José A. Sacristén
    • 1
  • Javier Soto
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Economics Department and Clinical Research DepartmentLilly S.A.MadridSpain
  2. 2.Pharmacoepiderniology DepartmentAbbott LaboratoriesMadridSpain

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