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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Apr 15;19(8):907-15.

Costs and efficacy of three different esomeprazole treatment strategies for long-term management of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in primary care.

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A prospective, open, randomized multi-centre study with parallel group design was conducted in 155 general practice clinics, and included 1357 endoscopically uninvestigated patients with symptoms suggestive of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.


To assess the differences in direct medical costs between a patient-controlled on-demand treatment strategy with esomeprazole, 20 mg daily, and general practitioner-controlled intermittent treatment strategies with esomeprazole, 40 mg daily, for either 2 or 4 weeks. Secondary objectives were to measure other costs, total costs, patient satisfaction and time to first relapse.


The primary cost analysis was carried out as a cost minimization analysis, comparing the direct medical costs in patients allocated to on-demand treatment vs. those in patients allocated to either of the intermittent treatment strategies.


The mean direct medical costs were 182, 221 and 195 euros for patient-controlled on-demand treatment and 2 weeks and 4 weeks of general practitioner-controlled intermittent treatment, respectively, showing no statistically significant difference. The comparable mean total costs were 211, 344 and 300 euros, i.e. significantly lower for patients treated on-demand compared with either of the general practitioner-controlled intermittent treatment strategies.


The mean total costs, but not the mean direct medical costs, were higher in general practitioner-controlled intermittent treatment strategies with esomeprazole compared with a patient-controlled on-demand treatment strategy.

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