Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist! On the Effect of Self-Dispensing Physicians on Pharmaceutical Coverage

KOF Working Paper No. 387

30 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2015

See all articles by Matthias Bannert

Matthias Bannert

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

David Iselin

ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Date Written: June 12, 2015

Abstract

In most developed countries drugs are dispensed to patients through physicians and pharmacists. This paper studies the effects of allowing doctors to directly dispense drugs to patients (self-dispensation) on pharmaceutical coverage. We use a Swiss dataset in our empirical analysis because Switzerland's federalist legislation allows us to study self-dispensing and non-self-dispensing regimes alike. We add location information obtained from Google Geocoding services to our dataset in order to measure coverage based on distances. To capture a driver of long term positioning decisions, we take revenues as a proxy for a pharmacy's usage rate. We find that, ceteris paribus, self-dispensation leads to a lowered regional density of pharmacies. By matching similar pharmacies across both regimes we find that revenues are substantially lower for pharmacies under a self-dispensation regime. Pharmacies in cantons that allow physicians to dispense drugs tend to have relatively higher revenues associated with non-drugs. We suggest to organize legislation on self-dispensation at a fine grained regional level as regional typologies are the most reasonable justification for regime choice.

Keywords: pharmaceutical coverage, drug dispensation, self-dispensation, health care expenditures, GIS, Propensity Score Matching

JEL Classification: I18, I11, C21

Suggested Citation

Bannert, Matthias and Iselin, David, Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist! On the Effect of Self-Dispensing Physicians on Pharmaceutical Coverage (June 12, 2015). KOF Working Paper No. 387, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2618402 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2618402

Matthias Bannert

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

David Iselin (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.kof.ethz.ch/de/ueber-uns/personen/david-iselin/

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