The socioeconomic profile of patients treated by phlebotropic drugs in Germany

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Uber, A.: The socioeconomic profile of patients treated by phlebotropic drugs in Germany. In: Angiology 48 (1997), Nr. 7, S. 595-607. DOI:

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Conservative treatment of venous disease is difficult. There is much skepticism concerning the efficacy of drugs in venous diseases. Nevertheless, in Germany, these drugs have obtained a substantial market share with a tendency to increase. The objective of this empirical study is to evaluate the socioeconomic characteristics of consumer of venous medications and to explore the demand elasticity with respect to health insurance coverage. In a first set of inquiries 12,500 households were asked from July to September 1993 if they had purchased prescribed venous medication during the past 12 months. About 10,000 households with 19,750 persons aged fifteen years and older responded; 2,080 (11%) of those persons had consumed prescribed medications against venous disease over the past twelve months. In the second part of the study a detailed questionnaire was sent to the 2,080 purchasers and to 3,000 randomly selected nonpurchasers; 1,930 (92.8%) purchasers and 2,91 (76.4%) nonpurchasers returned their questionnaire. The key findings can be summarized as follows: The percentage of women is much higher in the group of purchasers (80%) than in the group of nonpurchasers. Most of the purchasers are over under fifty years old. Only one quarter of the purchasers are under fifty. One third of the purchasers are retired, and only 29% are working. In the group of nonpurchasers 56% are working and only 17% are retired. A comparison of the distribution of purchasers and nonpurchasers over income classes and education are less prevalent in the group of consumers of venous medications. Varicose veins (58%) and various leg complications (30%) and pain in the legs (30%) play a dominant role for applying venous medications. The analysis shows that pregnancy and chronic diseases are risk factors for venous diseases and are more prevalent in the purchasers group. We did not, however, discover a significant difference in the share of smokers, and it is quite low in the group of purchasers (14%). Only 45% of the purchasers feel that their venous disease has a negative influence on their sparetime activities, their family life, or their work. Purchasers consult a physician on the average 3.7 times a year; 40% of the managers, merchants, and self-employed craftsmen have no physician consultation at all. Owing to the pain and trouble of some complications of venous disease, only a relatively low percentage of purchasers would react to a reduction of health insurance coverage of venous medications; 5% would stop buying these drugs and 22% would reduce consumption if they would have to pay the cost out-of-pocket.
License of this version: Es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht. Das Dokument darf zum eigenen Gebrauch kostenfrei genutzt, aber nicht im Internet bereitgestellt oder an Außenstehende weitergegeben werden. Dieser Beitrag ist aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 1997
Appears in Collections:Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

distribution of downloads over the selected time period:

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 22 91.67%
2 image of flag of United States United States 1 4.17%
3 image of flag of Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania, United Republic of 1 4.17%

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