Why Does Anti-Infective Drug Expenditure Increase In China?

Tianjin, China – There has been a growing concern regarding high pharmaceutical expenditure around the world, which is an extreme focus in China as it accounts for more than a half of the total health expenditure. Over the past decade, although pharmaceutical price decreased by 10.8%, the pharmaceutical expenditure for inpatient and outpatient increased by 84.2% and 61.4% respectively in China.

The study, “Increasing Anti-infective Drug Expenditure in Tianjin, China: A Decomposition Analysis”  to be published in the Value in Health Regional Issues Asia 2013, found that therapeutic choice, transferring from cheap drugs to expensive ones, was the main driving factor for increasing anti-infective drug expenditures in China. The study was co-authored by Dr. Jing Wu, Ms. Ning Yue and Dr. Weiwei Xu.

The study showcased the driving factors of increasing anti-infective expenditures using inpatient claims of Urban Employee Medical Insurance in Tianjin, China from 2003 to 2007.

From 2003 to 2007, the expenditure for a fixed basket of 63 anti-infective drugs was increased 9%. The driving factors were therapeutic choices and quantity effects; each increased 48% and 10%, respectively. However, price had a negative influence on the increasing pharmaceutical expenditure.

Says Dr Jing Wu, author of the article, “Therapeutic choice transferring from cheap drugs to expensive ones, rather than the price, was the main driving factor for increasing expenditures. Policymakers need to pay more attention to rationalize physicians’ prescribing behavior to control the expenditure.”


Value in Health Regional Issues  (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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