Background: We present a novel application of the concept of risk or rate advancement to compute the extent of delay in adoption of an effective new drug in 2 German health insurance systems. Methods: We identified individuals with migraines, age 18 to 65 years, in 371 primary care practices in Germany in 1994 (MediPlus, IMS Health database). These included 8173 persons covered under the statutory health insurance system and 503 persons covered by private health insurance. We derived risk and population risk advancement periods for sumatriptan compared with nonserotoninergic acute migraine therapy using multiplicative risk regression and generalized estimating equations, adjusted for patient, physician, and practice cofactors. Results: For patients at the mean age of the cohort, 43 years of age, sumatriptan was prescribed 1.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3-2.0) years later among those in the statutory health insurance system compared with those who had private insurance. The lag increased by 0.6 (-0.1 to 1.3) years for every 10 years of patient age. In the age-mix of our sample, access to the health benefits of sumatriptan therapy lagged nearly 1.5 years behind in the statutory health insurance system and for Germany as a whole. Conclusions: Migraine patients' access to sumatriptan therapy lagged substantially in the statutory health insurance system and in the country as a whole. Risk advancement periods provide a useful methodology for communicating major healthcare issues in a meaningful way to society and policymakers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2004|
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