SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – South Koreans spent an average US$429 per person in 2015 to purchase medicines and medical supplies, slightly down from the previous year’s $446, data showed on Thursday.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Koreans’ average spending on medicine in 2015 was the 15th highest among the 29 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The health ministry compiles the data in dollar conversion for comparison with other OECD member nations.
Spending on digestives and antibiotics were higher here than the OECD members’ average, while South Koreans spent less than the OECD average for cardiovascular disease-related medicines.
In particular, South Koreans’ purchases of drugs for depression averaged $4 in 2015, sharply lower than the OECD average of $11, the data showed.
Sales of medicines and medical supplies in South Korea reached 24.56 trillion won in 2015, up from 23.67 trillion won in 2014 and 22.56 trillion won in 2013, they showed.
The ministry said although medicine sales increased in 2015, the per-person spending fell slightly due to demographic changes and the fluctuation in currency rates.