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Obes Surg. 2004 Sep;14(8):1031-5.

The effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on prescription drug costs.

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Surgical Association of Mobile PA, Departments of Surgery, Mobile Infirmary Medical Center and University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL 36607, USA.



This study examines the effect of weight loss following laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) for morbid obesity on prescription drug costs in patients over the age of 54.


78 patients aged 55 to 75 who met the inclusion criteria were identified in a database of 1,060 morbidly obese patients undergoing LRYGBP between March 2001 and March 2003. All prescription drugs and dosages were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 months, 1 year, and yearly thereafter. Drug history was obtained from the patient and verified by records from referring physicians' offices. The cost of a 30-day supply of each drug was obtained from 3 retail sources and averaged.


The average pre-LRYGBP cost of prescription drugs was $368.65 per month per patient. The average annualized cost at 6 months after LRYGBP was $119.10 per month (down 68%), at 1 year $118.67 (down 68%) and at 2 years $104.68 per month (down 72%).


Weight loss resulting from LRYGBP significantly reduces obesity-related morbidities, resulting in a substantial reduction in medication needs in patients over the age of 54. The projected cost savings realized in the 78 patients in this study amounts to approximately $240,566.04 annually.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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