Background: In Italy, the supply of plasma-derived medicinal products funded by the National Health Service can be through public healthcare facilities, accredited pharmacies or toll fractionation agreements between Regions and the manufacturer. Pharmaceutical public expenditure includes the supply related to the first two channels and costs can significantly vary because of channel-specific price reductions. This paper describes 2011 public expenditure for plasma-derived medicinal products purchased on the market, as well as the cost analysis per active substance.
Materials and methods: Analysis of the usage of plasma-derived medicinal products and of the related expenditure in public facilities has been carried out using medicinal product traceability data. The analysis related to the accredited pharmacies channel has been carried out using quantities for every medicinal package recorded by Pharmacy Associations and applying reference prices in force on March 1(st), 2012 as well as discounts for the accredited pharmaceutical expenditure imposed by law.
Results: At national and regional level, total and total per capita expenditures on plasma-derived medicinal products by market channel and funded by the National Health Service are shown. Analysis was conducted considering the active substances in three groups: substances included in toll fractionation agreements, recombinant coagulation factors, and other substances not included in toll fractionation agreements. In 2011, the national expenditure estimate for plasma-derived and recombinant medicinal product acquisition on the market was about € 535 million.
Discussion: The purchased volumes and mean purchased prices per unit of each substance have a significant influence on the observed regional variability of the pharmaceutical public expenditure. A strategy of regional comparison aimed at both sharing a national range of reference for purchase prices and evaluating modalities for centralised purchasing is desirable.