International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

Research Reports

Policy implications of rationalization of statin use in Lithuania

Edmundas Kaduseviciusa1, Danguole Jankauskienea2, Inga Paulauskaitea3 and Rimvydas Slapikasa3

a1 Kaunas University of Medicine

a2 Mykolas Romeris University

a3 Kaunas University of Medicine

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the trends and costs of statin use in Lithuania over a 3-year period and perform a cost-minimization and reference price analysis to rationalize the use of financial resources of the National Health Care System.

Methods: The defined daily dose (DDD) methodology was applied for assessment of statin use, which was expressed in DDD/1,000 inhabitants/day. Cost minimization and reference price calculations were used in the economic analysis.

Results: Over the 3-year period (2005–2007), the consumption and expenditures of statins in Lithuania doubled. The consumption went up from 3.87 DDD/1,000 inhabitants/day (in 2005) to 8.35 DDD/1,000 inhabitants/day (in 2007). Total expenses of statins increased during the same period from LTL6.186 million in 2005 to LTL12.418 million in 2007. Approximately 68 percent of the estimated costs for statins in 2007 were for atorvastatin. Provided that the calculated reference prices were fixed, the estimated savings would amount to a minimum of LTL1.371 million per year and could reach yearly savings in the order of LTL3.163 million. The total expenses would drop by at least 11 percent, and the decrease in costs could be as high as 25 percent (€1 = LTL3.4528).

Conclusions: Statins consumption is still very low in Lithuania in comparison with other European Union countries. Implementation of cholesterol education programs and changing reimbursement profile for statins therapy will increase consumption and expenditures. The introduction of reference-based pricing as an indirect cost control policy would help rationalizing the use of statins and their expenditures.

Footnotes

We offer special thanks to the company Soft Dent for the data on statin sales in Lithuania. The study was funded by Kaunas University of Medicine, and by Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania.