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The healthy ageing assumptions may lead to substantial changes in paths of aggregate health care expenditure, notably catastrophic expenditure of people at the end of the life. But clear assessments of involved amounts are not available when we specifically consider ambulatory care (as drug expenditure) generally offered to chronically-ill people. We estimate the effects of epidemiological and life expectancy changes on French health expenditure until 2029 by applying a Markovian micro-simulation model from a nationally representative database. The originality of these simulations holds in using an aggregate indicator of morbidity-mortality, capturing vital risk and making it possible to adapt the quantification of life expectancies by taking into account the presence of severe chronic pathologies. We forecast future national drugs expenditure, under different epidemiological scenarios of chronic morbidity: trend scenario, healthy ageing scenario and medical progress scenario. For the population aged 25+, results predict an increase in reimbursable drug expenditure of between 1.1% and 1.8% (annual growth rate), attributable solely to the ageing population and changes in health status. (copyright) 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
ageing; computer simulation; forecasting; health expenditures