PUBHLTH3124 Health Promotion III


Do a thorough review of all factors that influence pharmaceutical expenditures.


Recent research has shown that health care demand has increased due to changes in population characteristics, new diseases and different levels of care.

This has resulted in changes in the structure and technology of the health care system (Mousnad Shafie, Ibrahim, 2014).

This is why pharmaceuticals have been shown to play a key role in the improvement of a person’s health.

But, an increase in pharmaceutical expenditure has led to economic problems.

Effective strategies are needed to solve the problem of growing pharmaceutical spending and meet the needs of the health care system in an effective way (Schumock and co-authors, 2016).

This study examines the factors that contributed to an increase in pharmaceutical expenditure.

The identification of the factors may help to develop appropriate strategies to address them effectively and reduce the economic problem in the pharmaceutical industry.

Search Strategy

Systematic review has been used to identify possible factors that could have contributed to increased pharmaceutical spending.

The systematic review has been used to identify relevant papers from databases that are reliable and then analyze the evidence from other literatures in order to draw a conclusion.

Data Collection

Data from data sources such Google scholar, MEDLINE CINAHL, Google Scholar, and PubMed were used to determine the factors contributing the rise in pharmaceutical expenditure.

Relevant literatures were found that were published between 2012 and 2018. Literatures that use English language were selected for systematic review.

Relevant key words were used to identify the relevant literatures. These include factors that influence pharmaceutical spending, trends in pharmaceutical spending, pharmaceutical cost increases, pharmaceutical expense at hospitals, and other related topics.

Criteria of inclusion or exclusion

For systematic review, articles that mention the possible causes of the increase in pharmaceutical spending or trends in drug expenditure or health care costs related to pharmaceutical demand have been taken into consideration.

In order to understand and apply the evidence, full text articles were not selected.

For systematic review, articles that were published in English have been chosen.

The articles that were published in 2012-2018 have been chosen to draw on current research in order to understand the economics of pharmaceuticals.

Data collection considered the characteristics of the study, such as sample size, methodology and representation of result.

Literatures are selected based on the evidence level.

Out of 35 articles, only four articles met the inclusion criteria.

In the systematic review were included two evidence-based systematic reviews at evidence level I and three retrospective studies at evidence level VII.

Flow Chart

Evidence on Topic:

The demand for high quality health care has increased worldwide.

The technology and structural elements of the health care system are being affected by increased demand.

The main reasons for an increase in health service demand are changes in demography and the appearance of many new diseases. There is also a difference in the provision of care (Mousnad Shafie, Ibrahim, 2014).

The major role of pharmaceuticals in the supply and demand for health care has been revealed.

The global trade in pharmaceuticals was 55%, according to Vogler, Zimmermann & Habl (2013, Vogler, Zimmermann & Habl).

Recent decades have seen dramatic increases in pharmaceutical spending and a rise in health care costs.

Many countries face economic problems in the pharmaceutical industry (Mousnad Shafie & Ibrahim (2014)).

Long chains are involved in the pharmaceutical sector. These include new product discovery, government regulations, policies, different medication safety issues, marketing and consumer behavior.

The pharmaceutical sector is affected by multiple factors (Schumock et. al., 2016).

It was discovered that prescriptions have been increasing by 11.7%, prescriptions have increased 10.7%, and prescription spending has increased 11 to 13%. This means that overall healthcare costs in hospitals and clinics has increased 10 to 17% (Vogler & Habl 2013).

Increased prices of existing medications is one factor that may have contributed to an increase in pharmaceutical expenditures (Schumock, et al. 2016).

The price change of existing drugs was measured over a period of time. Trends were also evaluated.

It was found that an increase in the cost of medicines has resulted in an increase of 8.4% in pharmaceutical sector spending (Vogler & Zimmermann, 2013).

In response to the increasing demand for healthcare, the pressure on pharmaceutical companies has grown.

Changes have been made in drug quantity and drug therapy to meet the changing health needs of the public (Mousnad Shafie, Ibrahim, 2014).

It was found that the cost of drugs increased with the increase in drug quantity and treatment.

The increase in pharmaceutical expenditures could also be due to changes in drug therapy and quantity (Maniadakis and colleagues, 2016).

There has been an increase in the demand for new medication or drugs due to new diseases.

It has been shown that the impact of economic issues on the pharmaceutical sector can be attributed to investing on new drugs (Schumock, Zimmermann & Habl, 2016).

2.7% of expenditures were attributed to investing in new drugs (Vogler & Zimmermann & Habl (2013)).

These factors have had an impact on policy makers and the increased expenditure has been a main concern of policy makers.

An increase in the expenditure on pharmaceuticals has an impact on the costs of health care (Aljunid, Ali Jadoo (2018)).

Conclusions from the Evidence

Based on the evidence, it can be concluded that multiple factors have contributed to the rise in pharmaceutical expenses.

There are many factors that contribute to an increase in pharmaceutical expenditures. These include increases in the cost of existing drugs and medications, changes in drug quantity and volume, investment in new drug production, and changes in drug therapies.

The factors that influence pharmaceutical spending have an effect on the overall cost of healthcare. In addition, the economic situation in the pharmaceutical sector has raised concerns among policymakers.

Study Objective Based on the Evidence

The evidence supports the following study objectives:

To give information about possible factors contributing to an increase in pharmaceutical expenditures.

Implement strategies to decrease pharmaceutical expenditures.

Reducing pharmaceutical expenses can reduce hospital costs.

Encourage the policymaker to adopt policies that consider the trends, and are focused on lower pharmaceutical expenditures.

Further research:

This study has identified major contributors to an increase in pharmaceutical expenditures. Further research is required to implement effective interventions to reduce pharmaceutical spending.

It would reduce global health care costs, and enable the world’s population to receive a quality health service at an affordable price.

Retrospective study of Factors that Influence the Total Inpatient Pharmacy Price at a Tertiary Medical Center in Malaysia.

A Systematic Review of Factors that Affect Pharmaceutical Expenditures.

Value in Healthcare, 19(7), A457.

Systematic review on factors that influence pharmaceutical expenditures.

Health policy, (116(2-3): 137-146.

The 2016 national trends in prescription drug expenditures.

American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Understanding the components of pharmaceutical spending-Overview of European drug policies that impact expenditure across countries.

GaBi J., 2(3). 178-87.