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Healthcare Costs of Potential Glucocorticoid-Associated Adverse Events in Patients with Giant Cell Arteritis

Authors Best JH, Kong AM, Smith DM, Abbass I, Michalska M

Received 24 August 2019

Accepted for publication 21 November 2019

Published 23 December 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 799—807


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Samer Hamidi

Jennie H Best,1 Amanda M Kong,2 David M Smith,2 Ibrahim Abbass,1 Margaret Michalska1

1Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA; 2IBM Watson Health, Cambridge, MA, USA

Correspondence: Jennie H Best
Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA
Tel +1 858 361-4937

Objective: To quantify the healthcare expenditures associated with potential oral glucocorticoid (OGC)-related adverse events (AEs) in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA).
Methods: Patients with GCA and ≥ 1 OGC prescription fill between 2009 and 2014 were identified from the MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental claims databases. Patients were stratified into four groups based on cumulative OGC dose (> 0 to ≤ 2607 mg, > 2607 to ≤ 4800 mg, > 4800 to ≤ 7200 mg, and > 7200 mg) during the 1-year follow-up period; incidence of potential AEs and AE-related direct healthcare costs in USD were assessed. Association between the log of cumulative OGC dose and AE-related direct healthcare costs was evaluated, adjusting for baseline characteristics.
Results: Of 1602 patients with GCA included, 69% were women; the mean age was 73 years. The mean cumulative OGC dose was 5806 mg during the 1-year follow-up; most exposure occurred in the first 6 months. The proportion of patients with potential OGC-related AEs was 36.5% overall and increased as cumulative dose increased (30.7%–45.3% across dose groups). Unadjusted mean AE-related costs for patients with an AE was USD $12,818. In the multivariable model including all patients, increasing OGC dose was associated with increasing AE-related healthcare costs (cost ratio, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.16–1.64] per 1-unit increase in log of cumulative OGC dose [P < 0.001]). Mean (median)-predicted AE costs for the dose groups were USD $4389 ($2749) for > 0 to ≤ 2607 mg, USD $5176 ($3009) for > 2607 to ≤ 4800 mg, USD $5576 ($3633) for > 4800 to ≤ 7200 mg, and USD $6609 ($4447) for > 7200 mg.
Conclusion: In patients with GCA, OGC-related AEs increased with increasing cumulative OGC dose, resulting in increased healthcare costs. These results highlight the need for efficacious therapies that reduce the exposure to and potential risks associated with OGCs.

Keywords: giant cell arteritis, glucocorticoid, adverse events, healthcare expenditures

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