BACKGROUND: Drug therapy for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is based on anti-inflammatory and immunodulating drugs, nutritional support and surgical resection. Recently, new drugs have been introduced. AIM: To report drug prescriptions, costs and adverse reactions among inflammatory bowel disease patients in Sweden between 1988 and 1997. METHODS: Drug use was calculated from the national Diagnosis and therapy survey and drug costs from prescriptions and drug sales. Adverse drug reactions were obtained from the Medical Products Agency's National Pharmacovigilance system. RESULTS: The annual drug exposure for Crohn's disease was 0.55 million daily doses per million population, mainly supplementation and aminosalicylic acids. Mesalazine and olsalazine had 61% within this group. For ulcerative colitis patients, drug exposure was 0.61 million daily doses per million per year and aminosalicylic acids fell from 70% to 65%. For inflammatory bowel disease patients, corticosteroids and nutritional supplementation were common. The annual average cost for inflammatory bowel disease drugs was 7.0 million US dollars. Annually, 32 adverse drug reactions were reported, mainly haematological reactions such as agranulocytosis and pancytopenia (60%), followed by skin reactions. Only two deaths were reported. Aminosalicylic acids were the most commonly reported compounds. CONCLUSIONS: Drug use for inflammatory bowel disease in the pre-biologic agent era rested on aminosalicylic acid drugs and corticosteroids with stable levels, proportions and costs. The level of adverse drug reactions was low but haematological reactions support the monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease patients.
To analyse the acquisition cost of dispensed prescription drugs for individuals with multiple medications in a national population.
We collected and analysed individual based data regarding the acquisition cost of dispensed prescription drugs for all individuals with five or more dispensed drugs (DP=5) in Sweden 2006 (2.2 million).
Individuals with DP=5 (24.5% of the population) accounted for 78.8% of the total acquisition cost, and individuals with DP=10 (8.6% of the population) and DP=15 (3.0% of the population) accounted for 46.3% and 23.2%, respectively. The average acquisition cost per defined daily doses (DDD) generally decreased with increasing age. The highest average cost per DDD was observed for individuals with DP=10. The acquisition cost for women with DP=5 represented 56.0% of the total acquisition cost. Men with DP=5 represented 44.0% of the total acquisition cost.
In an entire national population, individuals with multiple medication accounted for four fifths of the total acquisition cost of dispensed drugs. Actions to reduce the number of prescription drugs for the group of patients with a number of different drugs may also result in a substantial reduction of the total acquisition cost.
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1620 Tremont St, Suite 3030, Boston, MA 02120, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
As medication spending grows, Medicare Part D will need to adapt its coverage policies according to emerging evidence from a variety of insurance policies. We sought to evaluate the consequences of copayment and coinsurance policies on the initiation of statin therapy after acute myocardial infarction and adherence to therapy in statin initiators using a natural experiment of all British Columbia residents aged 66 years and older.
Three consecutive cohorts that included all patients who began statin therapy during full drug coverage (2001), coverage with a $10 or $25 copay (2002), and coverage with a 25% coinsurance benefit (2003-2004) were followed up with linked healthcare utilization data (n=51,561). Follow-up of cohorts was 9 months after each policy change. Adherence to statin therapy was defined as > or = 80% of days covered. Relative to full-coverage policies, adherence to new statin therapy was significantly reduced, from 55.8% to 50.5%, under a fixed copayment policy (-5.4% points; 95% CI, -6.4% to -4.4%) and the subsequent coinsurance policy (-5.4% points; 95% CI, -6.3% to -4.4%). An uninterrupted increase in the proportion of patients initiating statin therapy after an acute myocardial infarction (1.7% points per quarter) was observed over the study period, similar to a Pennsylvania control population with full coverage. Sudden changes to full out-of-pocket spending, similar to Medicare's Part D "doughnut hole," almost doubled the risk of stopping statins (adjusted odds ratio, 1.94, 95% CI, 1.82 to 2.08).
Fixed patient copayment and coinsurance policies have negative effects on adherence to statin lipid-lowering drug therapy but not on their initiation after myocardial infarction.
In an observational cohort of patients treated with biphosphonates (BP), we observed that poor adherence to these drugs causes important expenditures in terms of avoidable fractures. Of particular interest are the amounts of money wasted by patients who did not take their BPs long enough to obtain a clinical benefit.
A large proportion of patients initiated with oral weekly BP therapy stop their treatment within the first year. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of the poor adherence to BPs in terms of drug wasted and avoidable fractures.
The study was done on primary and secondary prevention cohorts from the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (Québec). The concept of the "point of visual divergence" was used to determine the amount of wasted drug. The risk of fracture was estimated using Cox regression models. The hazard ratios of compliant patients (+80%) versus non compliant patients were used to estimate the number of fractures saved.
The cost of wasted drugs was $25.87 per patient initiated in the primary prevention cohort and $30.52 in the secondary prevention cohort. If all patients had been compliant, 110 fractures would have been avoided in the primary prevention cohort and 19 fractures in the secondary prevention cohort. The cost of these avoidable fractures per patient initiated on BP therapy was $62.95 in primary prevention cohort and $330.84 in secondary prevention cohort.
This study confirms that poor adherence to oral BPs leads to a significant waste of money and avoidable fractures.
To avoid the use of unnecessary broad-spectrum antibiotics, empirical therapy of bacteraemia should be adjusted according to the results of blood cultures.
To investigate whether the results of blood cultures led to changes in antibiotic use and costs in a tertiary-care university hospital in Norway.
Medical records from all patients with positive blood cultures in 2001 were analysed retrospectively. Factors predisposing to infections, results of blood cultures, antibiotic use and outcome were recorded. The influence of blood culture results on antibiotic treatment and costs were analysed.
The antibiotic use in 226 episodes of bacteraemia in 214 patients was analysed. According to the guidelines empirical antibiotic treatment should be adjusted in 166 episodes. Antibiotic use was adjusted in 146 (88%) of these 166 episodes, which led to a narrowing of therapy in 118 (80%) episodes. Compared with empirical therapy there was a 22% reduction in the number of antibiotics. Adjustment of therapy was more often performed in Gram-negative bacteraemia and polymicrobial cultures than in Gram-positive bacteraemia. In bacteraemia caused by ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli, ampicillin was mostly replaced by ciprofloxacin. The cost for 7 days adjusted therapy in 146 episodes was euro19,800 (23%) less than for 7 days of empirical therapy.
Adjustment of antibiotic therapy according to the results of blood cultures led to a reduction in the number of antibiotics and a narrowing of antibiotic therapy. The costs for antibiotics decreased.
Adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) in breast cancer exposes patients to morbidity, but improves survival. The FEC (fluorouracil, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide) regimen has taken over the prior role of CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil). In this model, efficacy, tolerability and quality of life (QoL) data from the literature were incorporated with Norwegian practice and cost data in a cost-effectiveness approach. The FEC efficacy was calculated 3-7% superior CMF. There was no difference in quality of life. An 80-100% dose intensity range was employed, one Euro was calculated NOK 8.78 and a 3% discount rate was used. The total cost of FEC employing the friction cost method on production loss, including amount spent on drugs, administration and travelling ranged between 3,278-3,850 Euros (human capital approach 12,143-12,715 Euros). Money spent on drugs alone constituted 15-48%, depending on method chosen. A cost-effectiveness analysis revealed a cost per life year (LY) saved replacing FEC by CMF of 3,575-15,125 Euros. Adjuvant FEC is cost effective in Norway.
Alefacept is a new biotechnology product designed for the treatment of patients with chronic plaque-type psoriasis who have disease severe enough to make them eligible for phototherapy or systemic therapy. In two randomized controlled phase III trials of patients with moderate-to-severe disease, alefacept showed a modest but statistically significant increase in the number of responders compared to placebo. Alefacept's dose-dependent CD4+ T lymphocyte-depleting effect requires monitoring; however, no association has been found between this adverse effect and serious adverse events, particularly infection. Due to lack of direct comparative data, it is difficult to predict exactly how alefacept will fit into the current rotational psoriasis therapy paradigm.