Tuesday, January 15, 2008

CVD Literature Review and Some Stats from the AHA

This is a literature review of noncompliance in... well the title tells the tale. I will post some comments on the end. This was found on Envirovaluation.org, but I am pretty sure the paper is from a conference on hypertension from 2006 in Spain.

The economic consequences of noncompliance in cardiovascular disease and related conditions: a literature review

Objectives: To review studies on the cost consequences of compliance and/or persistence in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related conditions (hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes and heart failure) published since 1995, and to evaluate the effects of noncompliance on healthcare expenditure and the cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical interventions.

Methods: English language papers published between January 1995 and February 2007 that examined compliance/persistence with medication for CVD or related conditions, provided an economic evaluation of pharmacological interventions or cost analysis, and quantified the cost consequences of noncompliance, were identified through database searches. The cost consequences of noncompliance were compared across studies descriptively.

Results: Of the 23 studies identified, 10 focused on hypertension, seven on diabetes, one on dyslipidaemia, one on coronary heart disease, one on heart failure and three covered multiple diseases. In studies assessing drug costs only, increased compliance/persistence led to increased drug costs. However, increased compliance/persistence increased the effectiveness of treatment, leading to a decrease in medical events and non-drug costs. This offset the higher drug costs, leading to savings in overall treatment costs. In studies evaluating the effect of compliance/persistence on the cost-effectiveness of pharmacological interventions, increased compliance/persistence appeared to reduce cost-effectiveness ratios, but the extent of this effect was not quantified.

Conclusions: Noncompliance with cardiovascular and antidiabetic medication is a significant problem. Increased compliance/persistence leads to increased drug costs, but these are offset by reduced non-drug costs, leading to overall cost savings. The effect of noncompliance on the cost-effectiveness of pharmacological interventions is inconclusive and further research is needed to resolve the issue.

Yes, we have repeatedly seen that increase medication adherence leads to increase medication costs. This is a given, just like any consumption increase. With diseases that have nor apparent symptoms, other than a heart attack, it is hard to argue the case that in the long run, spending more on your medication will lower your overall healthcare costs. Event hough it is the truth and I believe it, it is sometimes hard to argue because in three years, there will be someone else to pick-up the bill. Whether it is a different employers, healthcare plan or the government, people want to shift the cost to the next person.

I was reading the AHA's new report on CVD, and I knew that the numbers were pretty high, but a person dies every 37 seconds from CVD, totaling 2400 Americans a day. In 2008, 770,000 Americans with have a new coronary attack, with 430,000 expected to have a recurrent attack. Every 40 seconds someone dies from a stroke - that is one in seventeen deaths in the US. In 2004, heart failure was mentioned in 1 in 8 deaths. 80,700,000 Americans have 1 or more types of CVD.

These numbers are crazy. We are a sick nation that needs to be healed. Starting at childhood with diet and exercise, these numbers can be decreased, probably not in my lifetime, but hopefully my son's. My father had a mild heart attack last year, and it was a real wakeup call for him at 63. Now he is on more medication and he is adherent.

Sorry for the rant, but it has been on my mind today.

1 comment:

Poria said...

You write very well.