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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:969343. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep023. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Allopathic versus Homeopathic Strategies and the Recurrence of Prescriptions: Results from a Pharmacoeconomic Study in Italy.

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Italian Society of Anthroposophic Medicine, Department of Public Institutions, Economy and Society, University of Roma Tre and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rome, Italy.


This is a pharmaeconomic study to assess the impact of different, cost-specific pharmacological strategies on the recurrence rate of prescriptions in the treatment of cold symptoms. Data were obtained from a prospective cohort study reporting individual prescriptions histories of subjects experiencing cold symptoms, obtained by a stratified random sample of 316 subjects, clustered into 139 Italian families, followed up for 40 months. Costs of homeopathic and allopathic treatments were recorded within each prescription. A Cox proportional hazards model with random effects was exploited to regress time elapsed between subsequent prescriptions over the relative difference between homeopathic- and allopathic-related costs, adjusting for age and gender and accounting for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Relative risks of event (prescription) re-occurrence have been estimated. The recurrence rate of prescriptions raise when allopathic strategies are preferred to homeopathic alternatives. No significant differences were observed between gender groups, while age was marginally significant. Inter-subjects heterogeneity was not significant.

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