Psychiatrists’ awareness of the cost of medication, rates of social disability pension, and their attitudes regarding knowledge of treatment costs

Ido Lurie*, Saed Maree, Shlomo Mendlovic, Daphna Shefet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Medication is a significant component of the cost of mental health care. Studies from different countries indicate that physicians are often not aware of medication costs, despite the impact of such knowledge on treatment plans. The purpose of this study was to examine Israeli psychiatrists’ knowledge regarding the cost of medication and rates of disability pension, and the impact of these factors on treatment decisions. Methods: Cross-sectional study. A questionnaire was distributed by e-mail to psychiatry specialists and residents, including: (a) socio-demographic and professional information; (b) knowledge regarding rates of National Insurance disability pension and medications’ costs; (c) attitudes regarding relevance of knowledge of treatment costs. Correlations between socio-demographic variables and knowledge regarding treatment costs and attitudes were examined. Results: Of the 175 psychiatrists who completed the questionnaire, 55% were men. The level of knowledge regarding cost of psychotropic medication and disability pension rates was low. Sixty-eight percent rated economic considerations as important or very important, yet 75% were informed of medication prices by their patients, and 57% by pharmaceutical companies. Doctors who worked in regions other than the center of the state were more aware of the economic aspects of treatment. Physicians who reported easy access to information regarding drug prices were less likely to err in estimating the price of medications. Conclusions: Psychiatrists in Israel are not sufficiently informed of the costs of psychotropic medications, despite their awareness of the relevance of affordability to treatment compliance. Awareness of economic issues relating to treatment should be included in residency programs, and access to relevant information of medication cost and disability pensions should be more accessible to physicians both on national and local levels, by the government and health maintenance ogranizations (HMOs).

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel National Institute for Health Policy ResearchR/281/2017

    Keywords

    • Attitudes
    • Economic aspects of mental health care
    • Psychiatrists’ awareness
    • Psychotropic medication costs

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