Immigrants spend 4 times less on medication in Lleida than natives

A study conducted by professors at the University of Lleida shows that immigrants spend less money on medication than natives. It also shows that inhabitants of rural areas spend more money on medication than those of urban areas.

CNA / M. Lluvich

November 23, 2010 11:43 PM

Lleida (ACN).- A study by professors at the University of Lleida’s Faculty of Medicine with the support of the IRBLleida, CatSalut and the Catalan Institute of Health has shown that immigrants in Lleida spend 4 times less on medication than native citizens. The study also shows that rural residents consume more medication than urban residents.

The study followed 198,000 individuals between 15 and 64 years of age throughout six counties in Lleida (175,000 natives and 23,000 immigrants). Led by professor Montserrat Rué, the study analysed the counties of Segrià, les Garrigues, Pla d'Urgell, Noguera, Segarra and Urgell. 68% of the people considered bought some type of prescribed medication. 57.7% were immigrants and 69.4% natives.

Regarding prices, immigrants spend between 18 euros for a man in an urban environment and 30 euros for a woman living in a rural area.  For natives, this number rises to between 34 and 57 euros respectively.

The differences in consumption also vary depending on the type of medication. The study shows that natives take more psychiatric, antihypertensive, osteoporosis and cholesterol drugs. Immigrants tend to buy analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication.

The University of Lleida study also discusses the causes of these pharmaceutical differences between the immigrant and native population. Influential factors may include the fact that foreigners are usually younger than the local population and that doctors prescribe cheaper medication to newcomers.

The average annual expense for medication in an urban environment is 15.8 euros for male immigrants, 34.4 euros for male natives, 26.6 euros for female immigrants and 50.5 euros for native females. In a rural environment, the average annual expense if 18.4 euros for male immigrants, 36.9 euros for male natives, 30.6 euros for women immigrants and 57.3 euros for women natives.