Keywords: forecasting, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, Spain, public health, social security expenditure, medical prescriptions, artificial neural networks, ANNs, ARIMA models
Analysis of expenditure on pharmaceuticals in the Spanish public health system
In Spain, the social security (i.e., the public health system) budget relays on the local administrations of every region. From this budget, a very important amount of money goes to finance, totally or partially and medicines for people. If the administrations do not take this issue seriously, the expenses can be overwhelming. In this paper, a Spanish region called Asturias is analysed in terms of the number of medicines prescribed and charged to the social security system. In particular, two time series are analysed and forecasted: total number of prescriptions to active people and to pensioners. Two well-known methods are used to obtain forecasts: Box?Jenkins (BJ) ARIMA models and Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs).