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J Med Econ. 2010;13(3):482-91. doi: 10.3111/13696998.2010.506176.

Comparing healthcare costs of Medicaid patients with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) treated with lidocaine patch 5% versus gabapentin or pregabalin.

Author information

1
Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, MA 02199, USA. nkirson@analysisgroup.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare healthcare resource utilization and costs of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) patients initiating lidocaine patch 5% (lidocaine patch) or oral gabapentin/pregabalin.

METHODS:

Patients with PHN diagnosis, or herpes zoster diagnosis and ≥30 days PHN-recommended treatment were selected from de-identified Medicaid claims data from Florida, Iowa, Missouri, and New Jersey, 1999-2007. Patients initiated monotherapy with lidocaine patch or gabapentin/pregabalin after PHN diagnosis, had continuous eligibility 6 months before (baseline) and 6 months after (study period) medication index date, and were ≥18 years old. Lidocaine patch patients were matched to gabapentin/pregabalin patients based on their propensity to initiate treatment. Study period resource utilization and costs from a Medicaid perspective were compared between treatment groups using univariate analysis.

RESULTS:

Matched patients were on average 61.3 years old, approximately 73% were women, and 55% had other painful conditions during the baseline period. 6-month per patient PHN-related prescription drug costs were similar for matched lidocaine patch (n=312) and gabapentin/pregabalin (n=312) patients ($854 vs. 820, p=0.75), while PHN-related medical costs appeared lower in the lidocaine patch group ($145 vs. 353, p=0.12). Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences between treatment groups during the observation period in overall resource utilization, total prescription drug costs, and total medical costs per patient.

CONCLUSIONS:

In spite of higher list prices, PHN patients treated with lidocaine patch cost no more than patients treated with gabapentin or pregabalin in terms of overall healthcare costs over the 6-month study period. The study suggests that PHN-related medical costs may be lower among lidocaine patch patients.

LIMITATIONS:

Findings are based on a Medicaid sample and may not be generalizable to all PHN patients.

PMID:
20684669
DOI:
10.3111/13696998.2010.506176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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