Research data on the subject is sparse
At present, not much register-based research data on the connection between socio-economic status and the use of medication for a memory disorder is available in Finland. The international research carried out on the subject is also sparse. A study conducted in the UK found that the probability of starting medication for a memory disorder was 25 per cent higher for patients in the upper-income bracket than for patients in the lower-income bracket.
“The reason for not paying more attention to the differences between socio-economic groups may be the relatively fast pace of development in pharmaceutical research and the overall well-being in society being enhanced through pharmaceutical innovations.
The current number of people with a memory disorder in Finland is more than 190,000, increasing by approximately 14,500 each year. Rantsi points out that all these people must be provided with the health services they need regardless of their socio-economic status, financial position, or residential area.
“It is important to understand why access to pharmaceutical innovations is unequal among different socio-economic groups. The targets for further research should include identifying which factors have a negative or positive impact on equal access to innovative drugs.
The information will improve the opportunities to enable equal access to health services.