Quality and efficiency of statin prescribing across countries with a special focus on South Africa: findings and future implications

Brian Godman, Iain Bishop, Stephen M Campbell, Rickard E Malmström, Ilse Truter

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Statins are recommended first-line treatment for hyperlipidemia, with published studies suggesting limited differences between them. However, there are reports of under-dosing. South Africa has introduced measures to enhance generic utilization. Part one documents prescribed doses of statins in 2011. Part two determines the extent of generics versus originator and single-sourced statins in 2011 and their costs. Results: Underdosing of simvastatin in 2011 with average prescribed dose of 23.7 mg; however, not for atorvastatin (20.91 mg) or rosuvastatin (15.02 mg). High utilization of generics versus originators at 93–99% for atorvastatin and simvastatin, with limited utilization of single-sourced statins (22% of total statins – defined daily dose basis), mirroring Netherlands, Sweden and UK. Generics priced 33–51% below originator prices. Discussion: Opportunity to increase simvastatin dosing through education, prescribing targets and incentives. Opportunity to lower generic prices with generic simvastatin 96–98% below single-sourced prices in some European countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • demand-side measures
  • dosing
  • drug utilisation
  • drug prices
  • South Africa
  • statins

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