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Healthcare quality and medicine reimbursement criteria in Iran

Hamidreza Khalili (Young Researchers and Elites’ Club, Shahryar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahryar, Iran)
Ardalan Sameti (Young Researchers and Elites’ Club, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 6 November 2017




This study aims to measure the quality of services provided to elderly people at the most crowded governmental ambulatory clinics of Tehran Province using the SERVQUAL scale (Study 1). Moreover, the research indicates the medicine reimbursement criteria to inform the decision-makers of public health insurance organizations using the Borda method (Study 2).


This study was done as a cross-sectional research on 425 elderly patients who came to the clinics during 2014 and 2015. Finally, using the paired t-test, Friedman test, Borda method, SPSS, Matlab software and Delphi method, the collected data were analysed.


Regarding the perceived quality, the services assurance dimension was ranked as having the highest quality (4.48) and the accessibility dimension as the lowest one (3.22). Based on the Borda method, the most important criterion for the Iranian health insurance companies to accept a medicine in their reimbursement list is the “life-threatening conditions” factor. On the other hand, “evidence quality” is accounted as the fifth important factor.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation was the senility of participants that makes it difficult for understanding and completing the questionnaires.

Practical implications

The results can be useful for healthcare policy makers and related authorities. Besides, public health insurers can use the findings for decision-making about the elderly diseases and the problems such as the medical expenses.


The present research has been done in a two-year time frame, and it is more recent than other related studies. Thus, the results are far more authentic and applicable.



The authors would like to thank all the participants of this study, particularly the clinics’ compassionate staff and managers, insurance organizations, Iran Food and Drug organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran and Tehran University of Medical Sciences authorities for their kind coordination in conducting this study.


Khalili, H. and Sameti, A. (2017), "Healthcare quality and medicine reimbursement criteria in Iran", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 455-470.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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