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Italia, S. ; Wolfenstetter, S.B. ; Brüske, I. ; Heinrich, J. ; Berdel, D.* ; von Berg, A.* ; Lehmann, I.* ; Standl, M. ; Teuner, C.M.

Prices of over-the-counter drugs used by 15-year-old adolescents in Germany and their association with socioeconomic background.

BMC Public Health 17:904 (2017)
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Open Access Gold
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BACKGROUND: In Germany, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are normally reimbursed up to the age of 12 years only. The aim of this study was to analyse prices of over-the-counter drugs used by adolescents in Germany and their association with socioeconomic factors. METHODS: Based on the German GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts, data on drug utilization among 15-year-old adolescents (n = 4677) were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The reported drugs were subdivided into prescription drugs and OTC drugs. The drugs' prices were tracked by the pharmaceutical identification numbers. RESULTS: Overall, 1499 OTC drugs with clearly identifiable prices were eligible for analysis. Their mean price was €9.75 (95% confidence interval: €9.27-10.22). About 75% of the OTC drugs cost less than €10. Higher mean prices were associated with residing in Munich (€10.74; 95% confidence interval: €9.97-11.52) and with higher paternal education (e.g. highest education level: €10.17; 95% confidence interval: €9.47-10.86). Adolescents residing in Munich (in comparison with the less wealthy region of Wesel) and adolescents with higher educated fathers were also significantly more likely to use OTC drugs costing ≥ €10 or ≥ €25, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The price of €10 for non-reimbursable OTC drugs may represent a (psychological) threshold. Higher prices could discourage especially adolescents from a lower socioeconomic background from taking medically advisable but non-reimbursable OTC drugs.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Adolescent ; Drug Prices ; Drug Utilization ; Over-the-counter Drugs ; Socioeconomic Factors; Self-medication; Birth Cohort; Giniplus; Children; Lisaplus
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1471-2458
e-ISSN 1471-2458
Quellenangaben Volume: 17, Issue: 1, Pages: , Article Number: 904 Supplement: ,
Publisher BioMed Central
Publishing Place London
Reviewing status Peer reviewed