The direct cost of managing a rare disease: Assessing medical and pharmacy costs associated with duchenne muscular dystrophy in the United States

Sarah Thayer, Christopher Bell, Craig M.Donald Mc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) cohort was identified using a claims-based algorithm to estimate health care utilization and costs for commercially insured DMD patients in the United States. Previous analyses have used broad diagnosis codes that include a range of muscular dystrophy types as a proxy to estimate the burden of DMD. OBJECTIVE: To estimate DMD-associated resource utilization and costs in a sample of patients identified via a claims-based algorithm using diagnosis codes, pharmacy prescriptions, and procedure codes unique to DMD management based on DMD clinical milestones. METHODS: DMD patients were selected from a commercially insured claims database (2000-2009). Patients with claims suggestive of a non-DMD diagnosis or who were aged 30 years or older were excluded. Each DMD patient was matched by age, gender, and region to controls without DMD in a 1:10 ratio (DMD patients n=75; controls n=750). All-cause health care resource utilization, including emergency department, inpatient, outpatient, and physician office visits, and all-cause health care costs were examined over a minimum 1-year period. Costs were computed as total health-plan and patient-paid amounts of adjudicated medical claims (in annualized U.S. dollars). RESULTS: The average age of the DMD cohort was 13 years. Patients in the DMD cohort had a 10-fold increase in health care costs compared with controls ($23,005 vs. $2,277, P< 0.001). Health care costs were significantly higher for the DMD cohort across age strata and, in particular, for DMD patients aged 14-29 years ($40,132 vs. $2,746, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In the United States, resource use and medical costs of DMD are substantial and increase with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy

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