To examine how the 2004 introduction of behind‐the‐counter () simvastatin in the United Kingdom affected utilization, prices, and expenditures.
Secondary data on simvastatin utilization, prices, and expenditures between 1997 and 2007 in the United Kingdom and four other countries.
We used a difference‐in‐differences approach to estimate how the introduction of simvastatin affected utilization, prices, and expenditures. This approach compares outcomes in the United Kingdom before and after the introduction of simvastatin, using outcomes in countries where the drug remained prescription only to control for possible confounders.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Data on simvastain utilization, prices, and expenditures between 1997 and 2007 in the United Kingdom and four other countries were obtained from an outside vendor.
The introduction of simvastatin in the United Kingdom led to a significant increase in utilization of simvastatin and a significant decline in expenditures for simvastatin purchases. Our results are robust to alternate model specifications.
Behind‐the‐counter statins have the potential to simultaneously increase use of statins and lower expenditures.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods