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Eden Prairie, MN, United States

Background: As clinical trials have shown the benefi ts of more intensive cholesterol control, treatment targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) have decreased progressively. At the same time, physicians have been encouraged to contain costs by prescribing cheaper, generic statins for cholesterol management. To determine how these possibly confl icting goals are managed in clinical practice, we examined LDL-C control in patients switched from a potent, branded statin (atorvastatin) to a less potent, generic statin (simvastatin). Methods: Patients who switched from atorvastatin to simvastatin between July 2006 and January 2008 were retrospectively identifi ed from a US medical and pharmacy claims database, and matched with controls remaining on atorvastatin. Outcomes measured were the number of switched patients receiving a simvastatin milligram dose ≥ 2 times their previous atorvastatin dose, changes in LDL-C levels, and percentage of patients achieving recommended LDL-C targets. All study variables were analyzed descriptively. Results: After applying exclusion and inclusion criteria, 1048 patients who switched from atorvastatin to simvastatin and 1048 matched controls who remained on atorvastatin were included. Among the switchers, 379 (36%) received an inappropriately low dose of simvastatin (< 2 times atorvastatin dose). In patients remaining on atorvastatin, mean LDL-C decreased from 105.7 mg/dL to 102.3 mg/dL after 44 weeks, whereas in switched patients, LDL-C remained similar, at 105.9 mg/dL on atorvastatin and 105.8 mg/dL on simvastatin. Before switching, when all patients were receiving atorvastatin, 67.4% of switchers and 69.9% of controls achieved recommended LDL-C targets. After switching, signifi cantly fewer switchers than controls met LDL-C targets (69.1% vs 74.6%; P = 0.005). However, among patients who switched to an equivalent dose of simvastatin (≥ 2 times prior atorvastatin dose), similar proportions met LDL-C targets (72.8% vs 74.6% of controls; P = 0.402), whereas among patients who switched to inappropriate non-equivalent dose of simvastatin, a signifi cantly lower proportion met LDL-C targets (62.5% vs 74.6% of controls; P = 0.001). Conclusions: Continuing atorvastatin was associated with lower LDL-C levels and better LDL-C target attainment compared with switching to simvastatin. Patients switched to an equivalent simvastatin dose had lower LDL-C levels and were more likely to achieve LDL-C targets than patients switched to a non-equivalent dose, suggesting physicians must consider dosage equivalence when switching statins, and should measure LDL-C and titrate statins as necessary to achieve LDL-C control. © Postgraduate Medicine. Source


Gustavsson A.,Karolinska Institutet | Cattelin F.,Sanofi S.A. | Jonsson L.,i3 Innovus
Alzheimer's and Dementia | Year: 2011

Background: Costs of care are frequently included as secondary endpoint in Alzheimer clinical trials because payers demand evidence of the budgetary effects of novel therapies. Future clinical trial protocols can be optimized on the basis of the currently available data, including what are the key resources and how are they correlated to disease severity measures. Methods: Primary patient-level data from two 18 months clinical trials of a putative disease modifier in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (n = 2,744) were analyzed to identify key components of costs of care and their determinants in a clinical trial setting. Costs of care were assessed with the resource utilization in dementia Lite (RUD) instrument, which includes patient accommodation, informal care, community care, and hospitalizations. The contribution of each component to total costs of care and their correlation with one another and key disease severity measures (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, Mini-Mental State Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes, Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory, and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire) was explored. Results: Informal care constituted 82% to 86% of the total costs of care over the 18-months trial and community care services and patient accommodation contributed 6% to 8% each. Informal care was positively correlated with hospitalizations but negatively to patient accommodation, indicating that these services are supplements. Informal care also had the strongest pair-wise correlation with key disease severity measures, suggesting a higher chance of identifying a treatment effect on this component. ADL-ability (Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory) was the strongest predictor of costs of care of all disease severity measures. Conclusions: Informal care is the most important component of costs of care in a mild-to-moderate Alzheimer clinical trial sample, and it is primarily driven by the ADL-ability of the patient. Investigators should focus on the assessment of this economic endpoint because a significant treatment effect on this resource is likely to also affect total costs of care. © 2011 The Alzheimer's Association. All rights reserved. Source


Gustavsson A.,i3 Innovus
European journal of pain (London, England) | Year: 2012

Chronic pain constitutes a substantial socio-economic challenge but little is known about its actual cost. To estimate the direct and indirect costs of patients with a diagnosis related to chronic pain (DRCP), to determine variation in these costs across different diagnosis groups, and to identify what resources constitute the most important components of costs. Patient level data from three administrative registries in Västra Götalandsregionen in Sweden including inpatient and outpatient care, prescriptions, long-term sick-leaves, and early retirement were extracted. Patients with a DRCP between January 2004 and November 2009 were selected. In total, 840,000 patients with a DRCP were identified. The mean total costs per patient and year were estimated at 6400 EUR but were higher for patients with cancer (10,400 EUR). Patients on analgesic drugs had more than twice as high costs as patients without analgesic drugs, on average. Indirect costs (sick-leaves and early retirement) constituted the largest cost component (59%) followed by outpatient (21%) and inpatient care (14%), whereas analgesic drug prescriptions constituted less than 1 percent of the total. The socio-economic burden of patients with a diagnosis related to chronic pain amounts to 32 billion EUR per year, when findings from Västra Götalandsregionen are extrapolated to the whole of Sweden. This compares to a fifth of the total Swedish tax burden in 2007 or about a tenth of Swedish GDP. This study does not provide evidence on what costs are caused by chronic pain per se. However, the higher costs of patients on analgesic drugs might indicate that the consequences of pain are of major importance. © 2011 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Source


Olesen J.,Copenhagen University | Gustavsson A.,i3 Innovus | Gustavsson A.,Karolinska Institutet | Svensson M.,Karlstad University | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2012

Background and purpose: In 2005, we presented for the first time overall estimates of annual costs for brain disorders (mental and neurologic disorders) in Europe. This new report presents updated, more accurate, and comprehensive 2010 estimates for 30 European countries. Methods: One-year prevalence and annual cost per person of 19 major groups of disorders are based on 'best estimates' derived from systematic literature reviews by panels of experts in epidemiology and health economics. Our cost estimation model was populated with national statistics from Eurostat to adjust to 2010 values, converting all local currencies to Euros (€), imputing cost for countries where no data were available, and aggregating country estimates to purchasing power parity-adjusted estimates of the total cost of brain disorders in Europe in 2010. Results: Total European 2010 cost of brain disorders was €798 billion, of which direct health care cost 37%, direct non-medical cost 23%, and indirect cost 40%. Average cost per inhabitant was €5.550. The European average cost per person with a disorder of the brain ranged between €285 for headache and €30000 for neuromuscular disorders. Total annual cost per disorder (in billion € 2010) was as follows: addiction 65.7; anxiety disorders 74.4; brain tumor 5.2; child/adolescent disorders 21.3; dementia 105.2; eating disorders 0.8; epilepsy 13.8; headache 43.5; mental retardation 43.3; mood disorders 113.4; multiple sclerosis 14.6; neuromuscular disorders 7.7; Parkinson's disease 13.9; personality disorders 27.3; psychotic disorders 93.9; sleep disorders 35.4; somatoform disorder 21.2; stroke 64.1; and traumatic brain injury 33.0. Conclusion: Our cost model revealed that brain disorders overall are much more costly than previously estimated constituting a major health economic challenge for Europe. Our estimate should be regarded as conservative because many disorders or cost items could not be included because of lack of data. Click to view the accompanying paper in this issue. © 2011 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2011 EFNS. Source


Wimo A.,Alzheimers Disease Research Center | Winblad B.,Alzheimers Disease Research Center | Jonsson L.,i3 Innovus
Alzheimer's and Dementia | Year: 2010

Background: The purpose of this study was to update the previous estimate of the worldwide cost of dementia in 2005 to 2009. Methods: The cost model is based on prevalence estimates, country and region-specific data on Gross Domestic Product per person and average wage, with results from previously published cost-of-illness studies in different countries. Prevalence figures are updated to 2009 and costs were adjusted to 2009 constant US dollars ($). Results: The total worldwide societal cost of dementia, based on a dementia population of 34.4 million demented persons, was estimated to $422 billion in 2009, including $142 billion for informal care (34%). Conclusions: The worldwide cost of dementia has increased by 34% (18% in fixed prices) between 2005 and 2009. © 2010. Source

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