Medicines take most of patient's money in India, says JAMA report

The study suggested that the government should regulate the drug and diagnostic market and bring down nonmedical costs like travelling to health facilities, food and lodging.

Published: 31st May 2022 12:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2022 12:26 PM   |  A+A-

medicine, medical field, doctors

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

New Delhi, May 31: A significant chunk of expenditure for Indian patients goes into medicines, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on the high out-of-pocket spending on healthcare.

The study suggested that the government should regulate the drug and diagnostic market and bring down nonmedical costs like travelling to health facilities, food and lodging.

"Components of Out-of-Pocket Expenditure and Their Relative Contribution to Economic Burden of Diseases in India" report is authored by Mayana Ambade, Rakesh Sarwal and Nachiket Mor -- all PhDs – among others.

They studied expenditure patterns of 43781 inpatients and 8914 outpatients. They concluded that 29.1 per cent of inpatient and 60.3 percent of outpatients' expenditure was on medicines. On the other hand, nonmedical costs for inpatients were 23.6 percent of their spending against 14.6 percent of outpatients.

The spending on doctor consultations and diagnostic tests went up depending on the patient's economic status. The study also noticed that annual outpatient costs were more than the annual income of households than annual inpatient costs. The study is based on the analysis of the National Sample Survey Organisation in 2018.

“This study found that nonmedical costs were significant, the share of total health care OOPE (out of pocket expenditure) from doctor consultation and diagnostic test charges increased with socioeconomic status, and annual cost as a proportion of annual income was lower for inpatient than outpatient services," the report concluded.

It was noted that the out of pocket expenditure accounted for 58.7 percent of national health expenditure in India.

"Such excessive reliance on OOPE creates a disproportionate burden on low-income individuals, accentuating income inequality and the medical poverty trap," said the report.

Box

60.3 percent of medical expenditure by outpatients is on medicines

29.1 percent of the medical expenditure by inpatients is on medicines

23.6 percent of expenditure by inpatients covers nonmedical costs (food, lodging, travelling)

14.6 percent of expenditure by outpatients covers nonmedical costs



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp