Background: Over the last few years, major health care systems have been trying to control increasing pharmaceutical expenditures by a variety of methods, such as the controversial copayment policy, as essential health expenditures were being jeopardized. Objective: To analyze the regulatory intervention of preauthorization on a rofecoxib model in the medical corps of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in terms of indications for prescription, consumption, and cost. Interventions: Guidelines established by the medical services branch based on current literature and communication with diverse specialists and hospitals were implemented by a general practitioner who checked each rofecoxib prescription that was written for IDF personnel by a specialist. The intervention was initiated in November 2000 and continued until August 2001 and after the study. Design: The study was divided into two parts. The first part was a retrospective monthly, preintervention analysis of computerized medical records of IDF personnel (N = 247) for whom rofecoxib was prescribed. The second was a prospective monthly, postintervention analysis of filled-out guideline forms (N = 250) of approved rofecoxib prescriptions. Participants: Patients were IDF personnel, age 18 to 45, treated in military and civilian outpatient clinics for whom rofecoxib was prescribed. Setting: The study took place at the Medical Service Branch of the IDF between August 2000 and August 2001. Results: We demonstrated a significant decrease in average monthly consumption (43.0%) and estimated monthly expenditures (40.84%) of rofecoxib, as well as significant shifts (p < 0.001) in indications for whom rofecoxib was approved. These shifts (from pre- to postintervention) include the following: others/nonspecified (80 to 12%), known peptic disorder (7 to 32%), peptic complaints (4 to 22%), and rheumatic (8 to 19%). Conclusion: This type of intervention can be cost-effective, can provide quality care, and may be a viable alternative to the controversial and problematic copayment policy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health