Background: In Germany, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are normally reimbursed up to the age of 12 years only. The aim of this study was to analyse prices of over-the-counter drugs used by adolescents in Germany and their association with socioeconomic factors.
Methods: Based on the German GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts, data on drug utilization among 15-year-old adolescents (n = 4677) were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The reported drugs were subdivided into prescription drugs and OTC drugs. The drugs' prices were tracked by the pharmaceutical identification numbers.
Results: Overall, 1499 OTC drugs with clearly identifiable prices were eligible for analysis. Their mean price was (sic)9.75 (95% confidence interval: (sic)9.27-10.22). About 75% of the OTC drugs cost less than (sic)10. Higher mean prices were associated with residing in Munich ((sic)10.74; 95% confidence interval: (sic)9.97-11.52) and with higher paternal education (e.g. highest education level: (sic)10.17; 95% confidence interval: (sic)10.86). Adolescents residing in Munich (in comparison with the less wealthy region of Wesel) and adolescents with higher educated fathers were also significantly more likely to use OTC drugs costing >= (sic)10 or >= (sic)25, respectively.
Conclusions: The price of (sic)10 for non-reimbursable OTC drugs may represent a (psychological) threshold. Higher prices could discourage especially adolescents from a lower socioeconomic background from taking medically advisable but non-reimbursable OTC drugs.
- Drug utilization
- Drug prices
- Socioeconomic factors
- Over-the-counter drugs
- BIRTH COHORT