Authors: Ritam Chowdhury, Jessica Franchino-Elder, Li Wang, Huseyin Yuce, Cheng Wang, Brian O Hartaigh
Aims: Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) prevalence increases with age. Hence, evaluating the economic burden among older-aged patients is vital. This study aimed to compare healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and costs among newly-diagnosed older-aged NVAF patients treated with warfarin, rivaroxaban, or apixaban vs dabigatran.
Materials and Methods: Newly-diagnosed older-aged (aged ≥65 years) NVAF patients initiating dabigatran, warfarin, rivaroxaban, or apixaban (first prescription date = index date) from 01JAN2010-31DEC2015 and with continuous enrollment for ≥12 months pre-index date were included from 100% Medicare database. Patient data were assessed until drug discontinuation/switch/dose change/death/disenrollment/study end (up to 12 months). Dabigatran initiators were 1:1 propensity score-matched (PSM) with warfarin, rivaroxaban, or apixaban initiators. Generalized linear models were used to compare all-cause HRU and costs per-patient-per-month (PPPM) between the matched cohorts.
Results: After PSM with dabigatran, 70,531 warfarin, 51,673 rivaroxaban, and 25,209 apixaban patients were identified. Dabigatran patients had significantly fewer generalized-linear-model-adjusted PPPM hospitalizations (0.114 vs 0.123; 0.111 vs 0.121), and outpatient visits (2.864 vs 4.01; 2.839 vs 2.949) than warfarin and rivaroxaban patients, respectively, but had significantly more PPPM hospitalizations (0.103 vs. 0.090) and outpatient visits (2.780 vs 2.673) than apixaban patients (all p < .0001). Dabigatran patients incurred significantly lower adjusted total PPPM costs ($3,309 vs. $3,362; $3,285 vs $3,474) than warfarin and rivaroxaban patients, respectively (all p < .01) but higher total PPPM costs ($3,192 vs $2,986) than apixaban patients (all p < .0001).
Limitations: This study is subject to the inherent limitations of any claims dataset, including potential bias from coding errors and identification of medical conditions using diagnosis codes as opposed to clinical evidence. Medications filled over-the-counter or provided as samples by the physician are never captured in claims data.
Conclusions: Newly-diagnosed older-aged NVAF patients initiating dabigatran incurred significantly lower adjusted all-cause HRU and costs than warfarin and rivaroxaban patients but higher adjusted HRU and costs than apixaban patients.
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