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Background: Previous studies have ignored the bidirectional causality and the heterogeneity of health level. This study explored the bidirectional causality between pharmaceutical expenditure (PE) and total health-care expenditure (Total HCE) considering the health level for effective health investment and national health improvement.Methods: Based on the panel data on PE and Total HCE in 32 OECD countries and China, the Granger causality test was applied. Countries were divided into low- and high-health-level (LH and HH) groups according to their life expectancies.Results: A 1% increase in the growth rate of per capita PE boosted a 0.11% increase in that of per capita Total HCE of the following year in HH group, whereas no such causality existed in LH group. A 1% increase in the growth rate of per capita Total HCE boosted a 0.46% increase in that of the per capita PE of the following year in LH group, whereas no such causality existed in HH group.Conclusion: High-health-level countries should continue to increase the health investment by promoting rational PE growth such as expanding insurance coverage for innovative medicine for health improvement. Low-health-level countries should take optimizing policy to increase health investment in pharmaceutical for medicine accessibility and national health.

Citation

Yuqi Xiong, Youwen Cui, Xinping Zhang. Pharmaceutical expenditure and total health-care expenditure in OECD countries and China: bidirectional Granger causality on the basis of health level. Expert review of pharmacoeconomics & outcomes research. 2022 Apr;22(3):505-512

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PMID: 30958724

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