[Correction statement added after online publication 8/30/11: Author Xiaohui Zhuo's was incorrectly listed as “Xiaohui Zhou.” This has been corrected.]
Information Systems and Access to Care
Behind-the-Counter Statins: A Silver Bullet for Reducing Costs and Increasing Access?
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 47, Issue 1pt1, pages 174–187, February 2012
How to Cite
Sood, N., Sun, E. and Zhuo, X. (2012), Behind-the-Counter Statins: A Silver Bullet for Reducing Costs and Increasing Access?. Health Services Research, 47: 174–187. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01315.x
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 MAY 2011
- Assistant Secretary Planning and Evaluation
- Department of Health and Human Services
- United Kingdom;
- behind-the-counter drugs
To examine how the 2004 introduction of behind-the-counter (BTC) simvastatin in the United Kingdom affected utilization, prices, and expenditures.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Secondary data on simvastatin utilization, prices, and expenditures between 1997 and 2007 in the United Kingdom and four other countries.
We used a difference-in-differences approach to estimate how the introduction of BTC simvastatin affected utilization, prices, and expenditures. This approach compares outcomes in the United Kingdom before and after the introduction of BTC simvastatin, using outcomes in countries where the drug remained prescription only to control for possible confounders.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Data on simvastain utilization, prices, and expenditures between 1997 and 2007 in the United Kingdom and four other countries were obtained from an outside vendor.
The introduction of BTC simvastatin in the United Kingdom led to a significant increase in utilization of simvastatin and a significant decline in expenditures for simvastatin purchases. Our results are robust to alternate model specifications.
Behind-the-counter statins have the potential to simultaneously increase use of statins and lower expenditures.