Background In Greece the expense of public pharmaceuticals (medicines prescribed by hospitals and public insurance funds) in 2009 was 5.1 billion corresponding to 2.4% of GNP, while the corresponding average rate for OECD countries was 1.5%. In 2012 the target is 2.88 billion. In addition, following the country’s enrolment in the financial stability mechanism in 2010, the NHS (National Health System) was substantially enlarged because of the increased demand for public health system services while simultaneously there were cuts in NHS financing due to austerity measures.
Purpose To record and evaluate the pharmaceutical expenses due to the outpatients covered by Social welfare and the political refugees which all were served by the paediatric hospital pharmacy during 2011 and the first half of 2012.
Materials and Methods Information was acquired from the hospital pharmacy computerised data system.
Results During 2011,1250 prescriptions covered by welfare insurance were dispensed, of which 91% concerned children of Greek citizenship, and 9% immigrant children with political refugee documentation (mainly from Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Syria).
The total cost was 113,525 euro. The first semester of 2012 830 prescriptions were dispensed costing 96,180 euro of which 86.5% were for children of Greek citizenship and the other 13.5% was for children with refugee status.
The pharmaceutical expenses concerning children covered by the welfare system and refugee children are increasing rapidly (especially for refugee children)
Given the current crisis in Greece, we urgently have to devise an effective policy to control the increasing pharmaceutical expenditure.
No conflict of interest.
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