Table_4_Geographical Variation in Medication Prescriptions: A Multiregional Drug-Utilization Study.docx (18.66 kB)
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Table_4_Geographical Variation in Medication Prescriptions: A Multiregional Drug-Utilization Study.docx

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posted on 2020-05-05, 13:28 authored by Veronica Russo, Valentina Orlando, Valeria Marina Monetti, Federica Galimberti, Manuela Casula, Elena Olmastroni, Elena Tragni, Enrica Menditto, EDU.RE.DRUG Group

Studies have emphasized the importance of geographical factors and general practitioner (GP) characteristics in influencing drug prescriptions.


To: (i) ascertain the prevalence rate (PR) of use of drugs in six therapeutic categories used for chronic conditions; (ii) assess how geographical characteristics and GP characteristics may influence drug prescribing.


This study is part of the EDU.RE.DRUG Project, a national collaborative project founded by Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA). Cross-sectional analyses were undertaken employing the pharmacy-claim databases of four local health units (LHUs) located in two Italian regions: Lombardy and Campania. Six drug categories were evaluated: proton-pump inhibitors; antibiotics; respiratory-system drugs; statins; agents acting on the renin−angiotensin system; psychoanaleptic drugs. The PR was estimated according to drug categories at the LHU level. A linear multivariate regression analysis was undertaken to evaluate the association between the PR and geographical area, age and sex of GPs, number of patients, and percentage of patients aged >65 per GP.


LHUs in Campania showed a PR that was significantly higher than that in Lombardy. Antibiotics showed the highest PR in all the LHUs assessed, ranging from 32.5% in Lecco (Lombardy) to 59.7% in Naples-2 (Campania). Multivariate linear regression analysis confirmed the association of the PR with geographical area for all drug categories. Being located in Campania increased the possibility of receiving a drug prescription from the categories considered, with estimates more marked for antibiotics, proton-pump-inhibitors, and respiratory-system drugs.


This study provides information about the PR of medications used for treating common and costly conditions in Italy and highlighted a significant geographical variation. These insights could help to develop area-specific strategies to optimize prescribing behavior.