Medical resource use and costs among rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy

Robert I. Griffiths, Miriam Bar-Din, Catherine H. MacLean, Erin M. Sullivan, Robert J. Herbert, Edward H. Yelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To identify costs among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients receiving alternative disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapies. Methods. Using managed care organization data, we identified members who (a) were prescribed any DMARD therapy for two consecutive months between July 1993 and February 1998, (b) were aged ≥18 years, (c) had ≥6 months of DMARD-free enrollment prior to the first DMARD, and (d) had a diagnosis of RA. Results. The average age of the cohort (n = 571) was 51 years, and 70% were women. Mean duration of enrollment following initiation of DMARD therapy (observation period) was 19.5 months; 28.8% of patients switched DMARD regimens. The average monthly cost of care was $853, of which $294 (34%) was for RA-coded medical services. Monthly RA-coded costs varied by DMARD: hydroxychloroquine $227 (n = 252), methotrexate $340 (n = 185); sulfasalazine $233 (n = 49), and other mono/combination therapy $425 (n = 85) (P = 0.001). Conclusion. Costs of RA-coded care in patients receiving DMARDs are low and vary by DMARD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Costs
  • Drug therapy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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