Healthcare resource utilization and costs associated with venous thromboembolism in cancer patients treated with anticoagulants

Journal of Medical Economics, 2019


The standard of care for cancer-related venous thromboembolism (VTE) has been low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), but oral anticoagulants are also widely prescribed. This study compared VTE-related healthcare resource utilization and costs of cancer patients treated with anticoagulants.


Claims data from Humana Database (January 1, 2013-May 31, 2015) were analyzed. Based on the first anticoagulant received, patients were classified into LMWH, warfarin, or rivaroxaban cohorts. Characteristics were evaluated during the 6 months pre-index date (i.e. the first VTE); VTE-related resource utilization and costs were evaluated during follow-up. Cohorts were compared using rate ratios, and p-values and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Healthcare costs were evaluated per-patient-per-year (PPPY) and compared using mean cost differences.


A total of 2,428 patients (LMWH: n = 660; warfarin: n = 1,061; rivaroxaban: n = 707) were included. Compared to patients treated with LMWH, patients treated with rivaroxaban had significantly fewer VTE-related hospitalizations, hospitalization days, and emergency room and outpatient visits, resulting in an increase of $12,000 VTE-related healthcare costs PPPY with LMWH vs rivaroxaban. Patients treated with rivaroxaban had significantly lower VTE-related resource utilization compared to patients treated with warfarin; however, VTE-related costs were similar between cohorts. The higher drug costs ($1,519) were offset by significantly lower outpatient (-$1,039) and hospitalization costs (-$522) in rivaroxaban relative to the warfarin cohort. 


Healthcare resource use and costs associated with VTE treatment in cancer patients are highest with LMWH relative to warfarin and rivaroxaban.

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Streiff S, Milentijevic D, McCrae KR, Laliberté F, Lejeune D, Lefebvre P, Schein J, Khorana AA