Drug Price Information and Cost-Consciousness of Physicians: Results of a Survey of Belgian General Practitioners

  • D. de Graeve
  • G. Carrin
Part of the Health Systems Research book series (HEALTH)


The Belgian Ministry of Public Health distributes an Independent Drug Formulary (IDF) on a 2-yearly basis. This formulary (called the Gecommentarieerd Geneesmiddelenrepertorium) is edited by a group of prominent experts in pharmacology, brought together by the Belgian Centre for Pharmacotherapeutic Information. It contains scientific information about all drugs marketed in Belgium; it also mentions the brand name, composition, package form, prices per package and reimbursement category. [The NHI reimburses drugs according to their reimbursement category. Drugs of category (a) are totally reimbursed. For pensioners, widows, orphans and invalids, the NHI reimburses 85%, 50% and 40% for drugs of categories (b), (c) and (cs) respectively; for other insured persons, the reimbursement percentages are respectively 75%, 50% and 40%. Drugs of category (d) are not reimbursed.] Daily drug costs and comparisons between those costs for similar therapies are not provided, however. There is also a brief comparison between the relative medical effectiveness of the drugs in similar therapeutic categories; price comparisons are absent, however. This formulary is sent, free of charge, to all Belgian physicians and pharmacists. Students in the last 2 years of their graduate studies also receive a copy.


Sleep Disorder Drug Cost Cost Information Price Information Daily Cost 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Avorn J, Soumerai S (1983) Improving drug therapy decisions through educational outreach.Google Scholar
  2. A randomized controlled trial of academically based “detailing”. N Engl J Med 308:1457–1463Google Scholar
  3. Babington M, Robinson L, Monson R (1983) Effect of written information on physicians’ knowledge of drug prices. South Econ J 76(3):328–331Google Scholar
  4. Kesenne J, Feltesse P (1988) De Uitgaven van de Ziekteverzekering voor Werknemers van 1945 tot 1986. Dossier 16, Landsbond van Christelijke Mutualiteiten, Brussel, p 96Google Scholar
  5. Lilja J (1976) How physician’s choose their drugs. Soc Sci Med 10:363–365PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lowy DR, Lowy L, Warner RS (1972) A survey of physicians’ awareness of drug costs. J Med Educ 47:349–351PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Manning P, Lee P, Clintworth W, Denson T, Oppenheimer P, Gilman N (1986) Changing prescribing practices through individual continuing education. J Am Med Assoc 256(2):230–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Oppenheim GL, Erickson SH, Ashworth C (1981) The family physician’s knowledge of the cost of prescribed drugs. J Fam Pract 12(6):1027–1030PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Schroeder SA, Kenders K, Cooper J, Piemme T (1973) Use of laboratory tests and pharmaceuticals. Variation among physicians and effect of cost audit and subsequent use. J Am Med Assoc 225(8):969–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Soumerai SB, Avorn J (1984) Efficacy and cost-containment in hospital pharmacotherapy: state of the art and future directions. Milbank Mem Fund Q/Health Soc 62(3):447–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Zelnio R (1982) Physician’s use of the guide to prescription drug costs: an exploration. Drug Intell Clin Pharm 16:874–875PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Zelnio RN, Gagnon JP (1979) The effects of price information on physician prescribing patterns — a literature review. Drug Intell Clin Pharm 13:156–159PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. de Graeve
  • G. Carrin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations