The effect of drug co-payment policy on the purchase of prescription drugs for children with infections in the community Academic Article uri icon


  • A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the influence of the co-payment policy in a community setting on the purchase of prescription medications for children with acute infections. Data for all purchased medications prescribed for children with an acute infectious disease were gathered from a pediatric health care center over a 6-week period. Parents of the sick children and controls were interviewed by telephone, using a short sociodemographic questionnaire, and were asked to state their reasons for not purchasing (either partially or completely) necessary medications, primarily antibiotics. Of the 779 children who received a prescription for antibiotics during the 6-week period, 162 (20.7%) failed to take the complete course of antibiotic treatment. One hundred and one parents of these children (62.3%) were interviewed, of whom 30 (29.7%) claimed that the main reason for not buying the full course of antibiotic medication was the cost. This group is characterized by low income, overcrowded housing conditions and a large quantity of prescription medications. The cost of prescribed medication under the co-payment policy is a serious barrier to the purchase of prescribed medication for children with acute infections in the primary care setting. The policy has a particularly deleterious effect in under-privileged populations and is in contradiction with the proclaimed principles of justice and equality underlying the obligatory Israeli National Israeli Health Insurance Law and similar laws in other western countries.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002