Drug Report: medication for Spitex patients as well as psychostimulants

Along with a general section, the 2020 Drug Report offers analyses of medication for Spitex patients as well as psychostimulants. With its report, Helsana is ensuring greater transparency in the healthcare sector, and thus helping to improve the care that our customers receive.

The latest Helsana Drug Report shows that the medication costs borne by basic insurance amounted to CHF 7.6 billion in 2019, remaining stable in relation to 2018. Few new medications were launched on the market, and patent expiries and the price review carried out by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) resulted in lower costs. However, new, high-cost medications result in huge and rapid cost growth, as demonstrated by the development in cancer drugs. The seventh edition of the Helsana Drug Report additionally focuses on analyses of medication for Spitex patients as well as psychostimulants.

Spitex patients taking dangerous drug cocktail 

Driven by the wish of many to spend their older age at home, more and more people are taking advantage of Spitex services. Invoice data from Helsana allowed for a thorough examination of medication for Spitex patients. This revealed that use of medication has risen dramatically since 2013. Particularly problematic is the number of different medications taken per person – 16 on average. They include medications such as sleep-inducing agents, which the guidelines regard as potentially inappropriate medication (PIM). PIMs have been shown to be associated with adverse drug reactions, an increased risk of hospitalisation and increased mortality. It is therefore important that a periodic and systematic review of prescription medication be carried out.

A second analysis examined the use of psychostimulants such as Ritalin in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (commonly known as sleeping sickness). This revealed that adults are increasingly resorting to these medications, with a disproportionate rise among young adults suggesting increased pressure from studies and society in general.

The Drug Report: greater transparency in the supply of medicinal products

The report contains assessments of market trends based on Helsana’s anonymised invoice data and provides a representative picture of the number of recipients of medication and the resulting costs. It also provides an in-depth analysis of selected indications and medication groups. The primary focus is on the transparent representation of real trends.


The Helsana Drug Report is unique in Switzerland. It gives a realistic insight into the supply of medication in Switzerland. Helsana compiles the report in cooperation with the University Hospital of Basel (USB) and the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM) at the University of Basel.

The report is in German. The preface and summary are available in English, German and French.

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