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General practitioner prescribing rates and costs



General practitioner prescribing rates and costs



New Zealand Medical Journal 93(683): 301-303



This study was undertaken to determine whether the relationship between availability (population/GP) and utilisation (services/person) shown in previous work also applied to general practitioner prescribing rates and costs. Pharmaceutical pricing office records of payments to pharmacists were used as a data base. Calculated rates of prescribing and costs for 1978/79 showed a wide variation between health districts ranging from 9.0 prescription items and $40.18 per capita in Whangarei, to 5.8 items and $26.83 in Invercargill. These rates were highly correlated with both availability and utilisation, thus indicating that the wide inequality in distribution of general practitioners is associated with an equivalent maldistribution of pharmaceutical expenditure. In 1978/79 each general practitioner on average issued 16315 prescriptions at a cost of $72 934. These findings have important cost and policy implications with the projected surplus of medical manpower seeking entry to general practice.

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Accession: 043185033

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PMID: 6942285


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