Foregoing medicines in the former Soviet Union: Changes between 2001 and 2010.

Footman, K; Richardson, E; Roberts, B; Alimbekova, G; Pachulia, M; Rotman, D; Gasparishvili, A; McKee, M; (2014) Foregoing medicines in the former Soviet Union: Changes between 2001 and 2010. Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 118 (2). pp. 184-92. ISSN 0168-8510 DOI:

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: Pharmaceutical costs dominate out-of-pocket payments in former Soviet countries, posing a severe threat to financial equity and access to health services. Nationally representative household survey data collected in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine were analysed to compare the level of population having to forego medicines in 2001 and 2010. Subgroup analysis was conducted to assess differences between populations of different economic status, and rural and urban populations. A substantial proportion of the population did forego medicines in 2010, from 29.2% in Belarus to 72.9% in Georgia. There was a decline in people foregoing medicines between 2001 and 2010; the greatest decline was seen in Moldova [rate ratio (RR)=0.67 (0.63; 0.71)] and Kyrgyzstan [RR=0.63 (0.60; 0.67)], while very little improvement took place in countries with a higher Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and greater GNI growth over the decade such as Armenia [RR=0.92 (0.87; 0.96)] and Georgia [RR=0.95 (0.92; 0.98)]. Wealthier, urban populations have benefited more than poorer, rural households in some countries. Countries experiencing the greatest improvement over the study period were those that have implemented policies such as price controls, expanded benefits packages, and encouragement of rational prescribing. Greater commitment to pharmaceutical reform is needed to ensure that people are not forced to forego medicines.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
PubMed ID: 25263591
Web of Science ID: 347494600007


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