Article

Utilization and drug cost outcomes of a step-therapy edit for generic antidepressants in an HMO in an integrated health system.

SelectHealth, 4646 West Lake Park Blvd., Suite N3, Salt Lake City, Utah 84120, USA.
Journal of managed care pharmacy: JMCP (Impact Factor: 2.68). 06/2006; 12(4):294-302.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Antidepressants do not differ significantly in their ability to treat depression. Excluding the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), these drugs also do not differ significantly in their incidence of adverse events. Therefore, the initial choice of antidepressant medication should be based, in part, on cost. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact on utilization and costs of a generic steptherapy edit for antidepressant drugs excluding TCAs in a health maintenance organization (HMO) in an integrated health system (IHS).
The pharmacy department of the 440,000-member HMO in an IHS collaborated with the Behavioral Health Clinical Program to design an intervention that required generic antidepressants as first-line pharmacotherapy. Under the GenericStart! Program, a brand-name antidepressant was covered only after trial with a generic antidepressant, excluding TCAs. A step-therapy edit was added to the pharmacy claims processing system on January 1, 2005. All new starts, defined as members with no claims history of antidepressant treatment within the preceding 6 months, were required to use a generic antidepressant. The member copayment was waived for the first prescription. All generic antidepressants were in tier 1 of the drug formulary, with an average copayment of $5 to $10. All brand-name antidepressants were in either tier 2 (preferred brand), with an average copayment of $20 to $25 or 25% coinsurance, or tier 3 (nonformulary brand), with an average copayment of $40 to $45 or 50% coinsurance. Pharmacy claims data from a national pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) without interventions for antidepressants in 2004 or 2005 were used for the comparison group.
The generic antidepressant dispensing rate increased by 20 points (32.5% to 52.5%) in the intervention group but only 7.4 points (24.9% to 32.3%) in the comparison group in 2005 compared with 2004. The principal measure of antidepressant drug cost per day of therapy in the intervention group decreased by 11.7% (from $2.40 to $2.12) in 2005 compared with 2004 versus a 2.7% decrease (from $2.60 to $2.53) in the comparison group (P <0.001). Days of antidepressant drug therapy per member per month (PMPM) dropped by 1.5% (from 1.74 to 1.71) in the intervention group versus a decrease of 5.0% (from 1.37 to 1.30) in the comparison group in 2005 compared with 2004. The combination of change in drug cost and utilization resulted in a 13.0% decrease in antidepressant drug cost, from $4.16 PMPM in 2004 to $3.62 in 2005, compared with a 7.6% decrease (from $3.57 to $3.30 PMPM) in the comparison group. The 9.0% difference in drug cost per day represents drug cost savings of approximately $0.36 PMPM or $1,880,562 in 2005 dollars for this HMO of approximately 440,000 members.
A step-therapy edit requiring HMO members to use a generic antidepressant, excluding tricyclics, prior to use of a brand-name antidepressant resulted in drug cost savings of 9.0% for the entire class of antidepressants, equal to $1,880,562 ($0.36 PMPM) in 2005 dollars in the first year of the intervention. A small (-1.5%) decrease in use of antidepressants occurred in the intervention group, which was less than the 5.0% decrease in utilization of antidepressants in the comparison group.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
91 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The continuous growth of antidepressant consumption and expenditure, especially for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), has led to the adoption of several policy measures directed toward cost control in Western countries. In Italy, copayment policies have been heterogeneously introduced at a regional level as part of a strategy designed to reduce drug consumption. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether regional copayment policies have affected trends in the consumption of and expenditure for SSRIs from 2001 to 2007. METHODS: The consumption of SSRIs was measured in terms of defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants (DDD/1000) per day from May 2001 to December 2007. Time trends in consumption and expenditure before and after the introduction of copayment policies were examined using segmented regression analysis of interrupted time-series, adjusting for seasonal components. The study was conducted for 17 regions, nine of which had implemented a copayment policy. RESULTS: The overall consumption of SSRIs in Italy increased during the study period, from a monthly consumption of 12.85 DDD/1000 per day in May 2001 to 23.40 DDD/1000 per day in December 2007. The average monthly increase in SSRI use was 0.82 % in regions with a copayment policy versus 0.77 % in regions without a copayment policy (P = 0.329). According to the multivariable analysis, copayment was associated with a 1 % reduction in the monthly growth rate of SSRI consumption (P  = 0.01). The impact of copayment on expenditure was statistically significant (P  < 0.005) on both the level and the trend, even though the estimate of the effect was negligible. CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of copayment policies in Italy affected both the use and expenditure of SSRIs between 2001 and 2007 to only to a minor extent.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 10/2012; 69(4). DOI:10.1007/s00228-012-1422-3 · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To compare changes in healthcare resource utilization and costs among members with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (pDPN), postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), or fibromyalgia (FM) in a commercial health plan implementing pregabalin step-therapy with members in unrestricted plans. Methods: Retrospective study of outcomes associated with implementation of a pregabalin step-therapy protocol using claims data from Humana ("restricted" cohort) and Thomson Reuters MarketScan ("unrestricted" cohort). Members aged 18-65 years receiving treatment for pDPN, PHN, or FM during 2008 or 2009 were identified; cohorts were matched on diagnosis and geographic region. Baseline to follow-up changes in healthcare resource utilization and costs were determined using difference-in-differences (DID) analysis. Statistical models adjusting for covariates explored relationships between restricted access and outcomes. Results: A total of 3,876 restricted cohort members were identified and matched to 3,876 unrestricted cohort members. FM was the predominant diagnosis (84.7%). The unrestricted cohort was older [mean: 49.0 (SD 10.4) years versus 47.6 (SD 10.5) years; p < 0.001], and had greater comorbidity [RxRisk-V score: 5.4 (SD 3.2) versus 4.4 (SD 2.9), p < 0.001] than the restricted cohort. Compared with the unrestricted cohort, the restricted cohort demonstrated a greater year-over-year decrease in pregabalin utilization (-2.6%, p = 0.008), and greater increases in physical therapy and disease-related outpatient utilization (3.7%, p = 0.010 and 3.6%, p = 0.022, respectively). There were no statistically significant net differences in all-cause or disease-related total healthcare, medical, or pharmacy costs between cohorts. After adjusting for baseline compositional differences between cohorts, restricted plan membership was associated with a net increase in all-cause medical ($1,222; p = 0.016) and disease-related healthcare costs ($859; p = 0.002). Limitations include use of a combined analysis for pDPN, PHN, and FM, especially since the observed results were likely driven by FM; an inability to link the prescribing of a medication with the condition of interest, which is common to claims analyses; and, lack of pain severity information. Conclusions: Implementation of a pregabalin step-therapy protocol resulted in lower pregabalin utilization, but this restriction was not associated with reductions in total healthcare costs, medical costs, or pharmacy costs.
    Journal of Medical Economics 04/2013; 16(6). DOI:10.3111/13696998.2013.793692
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Approximately 3 million patients with symptoms suggestive of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) present to primary care offices in the United States annually, resulting in approximately $6.7 billion in cardiac workup costs. Despite wide application of existing diagnostic technologies, yield of obstructive CAD at invasive coronary angiography (ICA) is low. This study used a decision analysis model to assess the economic utility of a novel gene expression score (GES) for the diagnosis of obstructive CAD. Within a representative commercial health plan's adult membership, current practice for obstructive CAD diagnosis (usual care) was compared to a strategy that incorporates the GES test (GES-directed care). The model projected the number of diagnostic tests and procedures performed, the number of patients receiving medical therapy, type I and type II errors for each strategy of obstructive CAD diagnosis, and the associated costs over a 1-year time horizon. Results demonstrate that GES-directed care to exclude the diagnosis of obstructive CAD prior to myocardial perfusion imaging may yield savings to health plans relative to usual care by reducing utilization of noninvasive and invasive cardiac imaging procedures and increasing diagnostic yield at ICA. At a 50% capture rate of eligible patients in GES-directed care, it is projected that a commercial health plan will realize savings of $0.77 per member per month; savings increase proportionally to the GES capture rate. These findings illustrate the potential value of this new blood-based, molecular diagnostic test for health plans and patients in an age of greater emphasis on personalized medicine. (Population Health Management 2014;xx:xxx-xxx).
    Population Health Management 02/2014; 17(5). DOI:10.1089/pop.2013.0096 · 1.18 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from