, researchers wrote. Utilization of health care resources and associated costs are greater among patients with three or more treatment failures, compared with patients with fewer treatment failures. This research was presented online as part of the 2020 American Academy of Neurology Science Highlights.
Migraine entails a significant economic burden, including direct costs (e.g., medical costs) and indirect costs (e.g., lost productivity). Information about the burden associated with failed preventive treatments among migraineurs is limited, however.
About one quarter of patients had two treatment failures
Using data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental database, Dr. Newman and colleagues identified patients who received a new diagnosis of migraine between Jan. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2015. Next, they identified the number of treatment failures during the 2 years following the initial migraine diagnosis. They assessed HCRU and associated costs during the 12 months following an index event. The index was the date of initiation of the second preventive treatment for patients with one treatment failure, the date of initiation of the third treatment for patients with two treatment failures, and the date of initiation of the fourth treatment for patients with three or more treatment failures.
Dr. Newman’s group identified 44,181 patients with incident migraine who had failed preventive treatments. Of this population, 27,112 patients (61.4%) had one treatment failure, 10,583 (24%) had two treatment failures, and 6,486 (14.7%) had three or more treatment failures.
The total medical cost per patient, including emergency room (ER), inpatient (IP), and outpatient (OP) care, increased with increasing number of treatment failures ($10,329 for one, $13,774 for two, and $35,392 for three or more). When the investigators added prescription drug costs, the total health care costs also increased with number of treatment failures ($13,946 for one, $18,685 for two, and $41,864 for three or more).
Similarly, the per-patient annual health care provider visits increased with increasing numbers of treatment failures. The number of ER visits per year was 0.54, 0.69, and 1.02 for patients with one, two, and three or more treatment failures, respectively. The annual number of IP visits was 0.46, 0.59, and 0.97, for patients with one, two, and three or more treatment failures, respectively. OP visits showed a similar trend. The annual number of office visits was 9.47 for patients with one, 11.24 for patients with two, and 14.26 for patients with three or more treatment failures. The annual number of other visits was 13.15 for patients with one, 15.73 for patients with two, and 19.96 for patients with three or more treatment failures.