Koreans take more medications than most other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a recent report showed.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) released a report last week comparing the nation’s health status and rankings in major indicators of the OECD Health Statistics 2018
OECD health statistics is a database (DB) on health status, health care resources and utilization, and use of medications from member nations. The organization uses the collected data to compare the health level between member countries, while members use it as a basis for discussing policies.
According to the report, Korea ranked fifth -- after Belgium, Czech Republic, Canada and Switzerland -- with pharmaceutical product purchase of $589.1 per person in 2016. The OECD average was $448.9.
The ministry added that although the volume of medicines consumed in Korea increased 19.6 percent from 2015, the sales value rose only 7.3 percent.
“This is attributable to a variety of factors, including expanded insurance coverage and revitalization of the generic drug market,” the ministry said.
By drug types, the report found that Korea uses only one-third of the OECD average when it comes to antidepressants. Korea consumed 19.9 defined daily dosage (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants per day, while the OECD average was 62.2.
As to antibiotics, however, Korea ranked third after Turkey (40.6) and Greece (36.3) with 38.4 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day. The OECD average was 20.8.
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