Analysis Group Researchers' Duloxetine Study Appears in "Pharmacoeconomics"
July 05, 2012
The June 2012 issue of Pharmacoeconomics includes the results of a six-month study conducted by members of Analysis Group’s Health Care Consulting practice on the costs and treatment patterns associated with using duloxetine, an antidepressant that is also sometimes used as an analgesic, in patients with chronic low back pain.
The research was commissioned by Eli Lilly and Company and was led by Analysis Group Manager Jasmina Ivanova and Principal Howard Birnbaum. According to the study “Duloxetine Use in Chronic Low Back Pain: Treatment Patterns and Costs,” health care expenditures associated with spinal problems have been increasing over time, and the direct costs associated with low back pain range from $12 billion to $90 billion per year in the United States.
Using insurance claims data, the team compared a cohort of patients with chronic low back pain who used duloxetine with a matched control group of patients who initiated another pharmacological or noninvasive treatment for this condition. The objective was to evaluate whether the use of duloxetine was associated with a reduction in the amount of other nonsurgical therapies used (for example, opioids, NSAIDs, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, exercise therapy) or a decrease in surgeries, and the overall impact on costs.
The findings showed that, during the study period, patients with chronic low back pain who initiated duloxetine used other low back pain-related medications or nonsurgical treatments less frequently than the matched controls did. Rates of surgery between the two groups, as well as direct costs, were similar.
Read an abstract of the study