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Budgetary Impact of Covering “Me-Too” Drugs from Social Security: Buenos Aires State Case Report


The majority of new drugs registered at Health Global Market are not considered real innovations and due to their chemical structure similarity of reference’s group drug, they are known as “me-too”. These “me too” drugs usually has no additional therapeutic benefits but greatly increasing treatment cost. PURPOSE: To demonstrate the economic impact in Social Security budget by covering “me too” medicines. METHODS: An epidemiological-descriptive-analytical study was performed in order to analyze the burden of anti-hypertensive prescription from patients under coverage by Buenos Aires State Social Security (SS). Two types of medicines were compared: “pioneer/classic” or “me-too”. Variables considered were: medicine type, therapeutical group, global costs, burden for SS and for patients. RESULTS: From 185865 patients with hypertension treated; in 121748 of the cases the strategy was monotherapy while 64117 of them received at least two or more medicines. 189714 were reference drugs while 64393 were considered “me-too”. In average, “me-too” drugs were 41.23% more expensive than classical treatment. The percentage covered by SS varies according to the medicines (between 45 to 51%) and patients must complete the amount of money remaining from their pockets. Paradoxically, the percentage covered by SS of some “me-too” were greater than coverage for most classic medications of each group. CONCLUSIONS: By only choosing the drug of reference from each therapeutical group with has proven effectiveness, the Social Security might increase the coverage to 100% of the cost of all anti-hypertensive treatment for all patients; and even that, still saving almost 2 million dollars per year

Palabras clave
Me too
Economical Burden

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