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Cost of treating arthritis and NSAID-related gastrointestinal side-effects

Bloom B. S. 

Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Aliment. Pharmacol. Therap. 1988, 2S, pp. 131-139

339 KA



Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are efficacious in the treatment of arthritis. However, side-effects particularly gastrointestinal toxicity, have been well documented with their use. Thus, in assessing total direct medical costs in the treatment of arthritis, the expenses involved in treating these side-effects must be taken into account. A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all direct medical costs related to care of a group of Medicaid recipients treated for arthritis during a 2-year period. Data were obtained from the Medicaid Management Information System of Washington, D.C., USA. The actual expenditure of treating arthritis as well as the medical costs of associated NSAID induced gastrointestinal side-effects were determined. Arthritis treatment costs per quarter were found to be $145 per patient. Approximately 25 % of the population experienced NSAID-related gastrointestinal side-effects requiring further medical care. Treatment of these adverse effects cost an additional $66 per quarter per patient, thus adding 45.5 % to the cost of arthritis treatment. Pharmaceutical claims comprised 42.4% of total adverse drug reaction treatment costs, while the few hospital claims accounted for 37.9%

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