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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 969343, 6 pages
Original Article

Allopathic versus Homeopathic Strategies and the Recurrence of Prescriptions: Results from a Pharmacoeconomic Study in Italy

1Italian Society of Anthroposophic Medicine, Department of Public Institutions, Economy and Society, University of Roma Tre and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rome, Italy
2Department of Public Institutions, Economy and Society, University of Roma Tre, Via G. Chiabrera 199 - 00146 Rome, Italy
3Expert for CAM, Italian High Council of Health, Ministry of Health, Rome, Italy

Received 21 July 2008; Accepted 3 March 2009

Copyright © 2011 Andrea Basili et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This is a pharmaeconomic study to assess the impact of different, cost-specific pharmacological strategies on the recurrence rate of prescriptions in the treatment of cold symptoms. Data were obtained from a prospective cohort study reporting individual prescriptions histories of subjects experiencing cold symptoms, obtained by a stratified random sample of 316 subjects, clustered into 139 Italian families, followed up for 40 months. Costs of homeopathic and allopathic treatments were recorded within each prescription. A Cox proportional hazards model with random effects was exploited to regress time elapsed between subsequent prescriptions over the relative difference between homeopathic- and allopathic-related costs, adjusting for age and gender and accounting for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Relative risks of event (prescription) re-occurrence have been estimated. The recurrence rate of prescriptions raise when allopathic strategies are preferred to homeopathic alternatives. No significant differences were observed between gender groups, while age was marginally significant. Inter-subjects heterogeneity was not significant.