Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/114460
Authors: 
Bannert, Matthias
Iselin, David
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
KOF Working Papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 387
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.
Subjects: 
pharmaceutical coverage
drug dispensation
self-dispensation
health care expenditures
GIS
Propensity Score Matching
JEL: 
I18
I11
C21
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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