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Am J Manag Care. 2005 Apr;11(1 Suppl):S43-50.

Tegaserod treatment for IBS: a model of indirect costs.

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  • 1Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, USA.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been associated with substantial time lost from work (absenteeism) and reduced productivity at work (presenteeism), which are the indirect costs of illness. This article presents a productivity model demonstrating the indirect costs associated with IBS and the reduction in those costs for a cohort of female employees hypothetically treated with tegaserod, a new selective serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) type 4 (5-HT4) receptor agonist, which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating women with IBS-C. The model is based on economic and epidemiologic published literature and clinical trial results. In this model, tegaserod treatment resulted in 1882 dollars in avoided lost productivity per treated female employee. Considering only the benefits of decreased work loss and the costs of medical therapy, the model predicts a benefit/cost ratio of 3.75 in the base case. From an employer's perspective, medical therapy for IBS with tegaserod is cost-effective under a series of assumptions for the treatment of women with IBS with constipation.

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