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Am J Manag Care. 2011 Jun;17 Suppl 8:S210-2.

Utilization patterns of extended-release naltrexone for alcohol dependence.

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  • 1Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Three Penn Plaza East, PP-13Q, Newark, NJ 07105-2200, USA.



The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate health plan member utilization patterns of extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) and assess the cost of alcohol-related hospitalizations and medical and pharmacy costs. This is the first known study that examined post-XR-NTX therapy outcomes and costs.


Retrospective analysis of claims data.


A sample of 48 members was identified with continuous pharmacy and medical benefit enrollment between July 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, and a medical claim for reimbursement code J2315 (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) with a date of service between July 1, 2007, and December 31, 2007.


The average duration of XR-NTX therapy was 3 months. Among the 40% of patients who received 3 or more months of therapy, 58% had gaps in therapy. Post-XR-NTX therapy, alcohol-related hospitalization, medical, and pharmacy costs significantly decreased.


Findings validate that abstinence from alcohol remains an issue after discontinuing therapy. Despite most patients being on therapy for less than 6 months, there were significant reductions in costs for alcohol-related hospitalizations, as well as total medical and total pharmacy costs.

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