Determinants of out‐of‐pocket expenditures on prescribed medications in Tajikistan

Nazim Habibov (University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Publication date: 22 May 2009



The purpose of this paper is to quantify the impact of socio‐economic characteristics on out‐of pocket expenditures for prescribed medications in Tajikistan and provide recommendations for healthcare sector reform. The research question in this paper is: what household, personal, economic, and health factors help explain expenditures on medications? From a theoretical perspective, this paper contributes to the on‐going discussion of out‐of‐pocket expenditures in Tajikistan. From a practical perspective, in line with this recent development in the Tajikistan healthcare sector, it helps to develop evidence‐based decision‐making by answering practical questions: what factors affect pattern of out‐of‐pocket expenditures for prescribed medication? Which groups of the population should be granted a discount or fee‐waiver when buying them?


Based on micro‐file data from the most recent cross‐sectional nationally‐representative survey of Tajik households, this paper develops and tests a multivariate model of identifying determinants of out‐of‐pocket expenditures on prescribed medications in Tajikistan.


The paper finds that economic status, chronic illness, disability, number of small children, short supply of necessary drugs, and cardiac and acute illnesses are the strongest determinants of spending for prescribed medications in the country.


This paper demonstrates that to ensure accessibility to and affordability of prescribed medications, discounts or fee‐waivers should be granted to specific categories of households, those in poverty, with chronically ill members and with small children. These discounts or fee‐waivers should cover prescribed medications for children, long‐standing illness as well as for cardiac and acute infectious diseases. Administrative and economic measures should be taken to reduce the extra costs incurred due to the shortage of prescribed medications. Hence, these findings can be used in developing and designing reforms in the Tajikistan healthcare sector.



Habibov, N. (2009), "Determinants of out‐of‐pocket expenditures on prescribed medications in Tajikistan", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 170-182.

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