Authors: Urbano Sbarigia, Furaha Kariburyo, Janvi Sah, Jamie Colasurdo, Lin Xie, Eva G Katz, Shirley Sylvester
Introduction: This study aimed to characterize chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-infected patients and estimate the association between nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) persistence and economic outcomes using data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) database.
Methods: Patients (at least 18 years of age) with two or more claims for CHB and at least one pharmacy claim for NA were identified using VHA data from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2018. The index date was the first NA prescription fill date during 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2017. Persistence and non-persistence to NA treatment were assessed during the first 2 years post index date. Non-persistence was defined as at least one failure to refill medication within 30 days from the run-out date. Generalized linear models were used to compare health care utilization and costs between persistent and non-persistent patients.
Results: Among patients treated with NAs (N = 2368), 1428 (60%) were CHB mono-infected and 748 (32%) were HIV co-infected. Total costs per patient per year (PPPY) were $39,240, $29,957, and $55,220 PPPY for NA-treated, mono-infected, and HIV co-infected patients, respectively. An inception cohort of 564 patients (24%), without a NA prescription in the 6 months pre-index period and at least 2 years of follow-up, was created. Persistence among the inception cohort was 29% for first year and 14% for first 2 years. After adjustment for baseline differences, persistent patients had lower cumulative overall health care costs compared to non-persistent patients, with a net cost saving of $851 (p > 0.05) in the first 2 years.
Conclusion: CHB is associated with considerable economic burden. We observed suboptimal persistence to NAs which decreased over time. Short-term savings could be generated for CHB-infected patients when they remain persistent to NAs.
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