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Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Aug;24(8):2203-17. doi: 10.1185/03007990802229050.

Estimating the potential savings with vagus nerve stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: a payer perspective.

Author information

1
Washington State University College of Pharmacy, Spokane, WA 99210-1495, USA. ljcohen@wsu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To provide a formula estimating potential reductions in healthcare utilization costs with adjunctive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS Therapy) in treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

METHODS:

This payer-perspective formula incorporates costs of treatment as usual for TRD patients from a published analysis of the MarketScan private payer claims database and the 2004 Medicare 5% standard analytic file. Estimated remission and response rates are from the published VNS pilot and pivotal studies. Costs were converted to 2008 US dollars per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics medical care costs, consumer price index. Device and implantation costs were calculated at $28,336.

RESULTS:

From the MarketScan and pooled outcomes data (VNS pilot and pivotal studies), potential per patient savings (hospitalization directly and indirectly related to depression) was $2974 at 5 years of device life, $23,539 at 8 years (moderate cost reduction scenario); $12,914 at 5 years, $40,935 at 8 years (optimistic scenario). Corresponding break-even device life was 4.57 and 3.62 years, respectively. From the Medicare file and pooled outcomes, potential per patient savings (inpatient and outpatient directly and indirectly related to depression) was $8358 at 5 years of device life, $32,385 at 8 years (moderate scenario); $19,837 at 5 years, $52,473 at 8 years (optimistic scenario). Corresponding break-even device life was 3.96 and 3.18 years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The formula allows an evaluation of expected reductions in healthcare costs as a function of input cost variables, efficacy rates, and benefit scenarios. Cited costs differ relative to care settings, diagnostic principles, and procedural volume. This formula can help assess moderate-to-longer-term economic benefits of VNS for a particular institution. Results suggested that potential reductions in healthcare costs with VNS for TRD may be substantial. Break-even device life for the scenarios presented ranges between 2.3 and 5.7 years.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00533832.

PMID:
18786301
DOI:
10.1185/03007990802229050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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