Duloxetine Use in Chronic Low Back Pain Treatment Patterns and Costs

ArticleinPharmacoEconomics 30(7):595-609 · July 2012with42 Reads
DOI: 10.2165/11598130-000000000-00000 · Source: PubMed
Little is known about the real-world treatment patterns and costs of patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) who are treated with duloxetine compared with those receiving other non-surgical treatments. Our objective was to compare the real-world treatment patterns and costs between patients with CLBP who initiated duloxetine and matched controls who initiated another non-surgical treatment. The study sample was selected from a US privately insured claims database (2004-8). Selected patients were aged 18-64 years, and had a low back pain (LBP) diagnosis (per Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set [HEDIS] specifications) with a subsequent CLBP-qualifying diagnosis recorded ≥90 days after the initial LBP diagnosis. Duloxetine-treated patients had ≥1 duloxetine prescription within 6 months after CLBP diagnosis, no prior duloxetine claim, and continuous eligibility ≥12 months before first LBP diagnosis and ≥6 months after index duloxetine prescription (study period). Because duloxetine patients had higher rates of co-morbidities, 553 duloxetine-treated patients were matched to 553 control patients who initiated another non-surgical LBP treatment based on propensity score and time from first LBP diagnosis to treatment initiation. A subset (n = 103 each) of matched employees with disability data was also analysed to assess work loss. Main outcomes measures included study period treatment rates and direct (medical and drug) costs from a third-party payer perspective and employee indirect (work-loss) costs. McNemar tests were used to compare LBP treatment rates. Bias-corrected bootstrapping t-tests were used to compare costs. After matching, the two groups had balanced baseline characteristics including demographics, LBP diagnostic categories, co-morbidity profiles, resource use, treatment patterns and mean direct costs. During the 6-month study period, matched duloxetine-treated patients had significantly lower rates of other pharmacological therapy (e.g. 56.2% vs 64.9% narcotic opioids, p = 0.0024; 34.9% vs 49.5% NSAIDs, p < 0.0001) and non-invasive therapy (28.8% vs 38.5% chiropractic therapy, p = 0.0007; 25.5% vs 35.4% physical therapy, p = 0.0004; 17.5% vs 28.4% exercise therapy, p < 0.0001) than controls. Duloxetine-treated patients versus controls had similar back surgery rates (2.2% vs 3.8%; p = 0.1127) and similar direct costs ($US7658 vs $US7439; p = 0.8119). Among CLBP employees, duloxetine-treated employees versus controls had lower rates of other non-surgical therapy, similar back surgery rates (0.0% vs 3.9%; p = 0.1250), lower total direct and indirect costs ($US5227 vs $US7299; p = 0.0418), and similar indirect costs ($US1806 vs $US2664; p = 0.0528). Duloxetine treatment in CLBP patients/employees versus other non-surgical treatment was associated with reduced rates of non-surgical therapies and similar back surgery rates, without increased costs.
    • "With recognition of person/patient centered mechanism-based management of pain, potential use of centrally acting drugs has been expanded to other chronic pain disorders. Duloxetine, which primarily works centrally, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis123124125 and chronic low back pain125126127128129130131132133 . Another centrally acting drug Pregabalin has also been demonstrated to be an effective treatment of various chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders, particularly of chronic low back pain134135136137138139140141 . "
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