In DRG-based hospital payment systems, expensive drugs are often funded separately. In France, specific expensive drugs (including a large proportion of anticancer drugs) are fully reimbursed up to national reimbursement tariffs to ensure equity of access. Our objective was to analyze the use of expensive anticancer drugs in public and private hospitals, and between regions. We had access to sales per anticancer drug and per hospital in the year2008. We used a multilevel model to study the variation in the mean expenditure of expensive anticancer drugs per course of chemotherapy and per hospital. The mean expenditure per course of chemotherapy was D 922 [95% CI: 890–954]. At the hospital level, specialization in chemotherapies for breast cancers was associated with a higher expenditure of anticancer drugs per course for those hospitals with the highest proportion of cancers at this site. There were no differences in the use of expensive drugs between the private and the public hospital sector after controlling for case mix. There were no differences between the mean expenditures per region. The absence of disparities in the use of expensive anti-cancer drugs between hospitals and regions may indicate that exempting chemotherapies from DRG-based payments and providing additional reimbursement for these drugs has been successful at ensuring equal access to care.
BONASTREA, J., CHEVALIER, J., VAN DER LAANC, C., DELIBESC, M. and PUYOU DE POUVOURVILLE, G. (2014). Access to Innovation: Is there a Difference in the Use of Expensive Anticancer Drugs Between French Hospitals? Health Policy, (2&3), pp. 162-169.