Literature Review

Half of Patients With Epilepsy Do Not Receive Medication Soon Enough

Medicare records found 79.6% of new patients receive monotherapy, but it’s delayed in 50%.


A recent analysis of Medicare records has found that among 3706 new cases of epilepsy, 79.6% had received 1 antiepilepsy drug within 1 year of follow-up. However, only 50% of patients had received prompt therapy, which was defined as receiving the first medication within 30 days of diagnosis. The delay in initiating monotherapy was detected when researchers performed retrospective analyses of 2008–2010 Medicare administrative claims that were obtained from a 5% random sample of patients. The investigators have called for additional research to determine the reasons for the delays and have urged the development of new paradigms to improve patient care.

Martin RC, Faught E, Szaflarski JP, et al. What does the U.S. Medicare administrative claims database tell us about initial antiepileptic drug treatment for older adults with new-onset epilepsy? Epilepsia. 2017[Epub ahead of print]

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