A new survey conducted by a group of Australian researchers has found that the country is one of the highest spenders in the world when it comes to buying medicines, including prescription drugs.
The survey was carried out by researchers at The University of Western Australia who looked into annual expenses spent by the common man among 14 countries associated with OECD and found that the money spent on prescription drugs shot up from $19 in 1991 to $62 in 2005.
On an average, Australians spend around $84 annually on prescription drugs with Finland being the costliest country among those with universal pharmaceutical subsidy schemes with an annual expense of $120. However in United States and Canada, two countries where there are no universal subsidy schemes, the people spend more than $487 and $262 respectively.
"We understand this is a massive area of health expenditure and everyone is trying to work out what the community can afford and what patients can afford, but we are worried that the balance has tipped now to the point that its hurting patients", lead researcher Dr Anna Kemp said.