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Articles by S. B Soumerai
Total Records ( 2 ) for S. B Soumerai
  M. R Law , S. B Soumerai , A. S Adams and S. R. Majumdar

Background  Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is assumed to be a major driver of rising pharmaceutical costs. Yet, research on how it affects costs is limited. Therefore, we studied clopidogrel, a commonly used and heavily marketed antiplatelet agent, which was first sold in 1998 and first direct-to-consumer advertised in 2001.

Methods  We examined pharmacy data from 27 Medicaid programs from 1999 through 2005. We used interrupted time series analysis to analyze changes in the number of units dispensed, cost per unit dispensed, and total pharmacy expenditures after DTCA initiation.

Results  In 1999 and 2000, there was no DTCA for clopidogrel; from 2001 through 2005, DTCA spending exceeded $350 million. Direct-to-consumer advertising did not change the preexisting trend in the number of clopidogrel units dispensed per 1000 enrollees (P = .10). However, there was a sudden and sustained increase in cost per unit of $0.40 after DTCA initiation (95% confidence interval, $0.31-$0.49; P < .001), leading to an additional $40.58 of pharmacy costs per 1000 enrollees per quarter thereafter (95% confidence interval, $22.61-$58.56; P < .001). Overall, this change resulted in an additional $207 million in total pharmacy expenditures.

Conclusions  Direct-to-consumer advertising was not associated with an increase in clopidogrel use over and above preexisting trends. However, Medicaid pharmacy expenditures increased substantially after the initiation of DTCA because of a concomitant increase in the cost per unit. If drug price increases after DTCA initiation are common, there are important implications for payers and for policy makers in the United States and elsewhere.

  B. A Briesacher , S. B Soumerai , T. S Field , H Fouayzi and J. H. Gurwitz

Background  Medicare Part D excludes benzodiazepine medications from coverage, and some state Medicaid programs also limit coverage. We assessed whether such policies decrease the risk of fractures in elderly individuals living in nursing homes.

Methods  This is a quasi-experimental study with interrupted time-series estimation and extended Cox proportional hazards models comparing changes in outcomes before and after implementation of Medicare Part D in a nationwide sample of nursing home residents in 48 states. The study included 1 068 104 residents and a subsample of 50 874 residents with fracture data from 1 pharmacy. We assessed monthly prescribing rates of benzodiazepines and potential substitutes from January 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007, and hazard ratios for incident hip fracture and falls, adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Estimates were stratified by concurrent Medicaid limits on benzodiazepines: no supplemental coverage (1 state), partial supplemental coverage (6 states), or complete supplemental coverage (41 states).

Results  The no-supplemental-coverage policy resulted in an immediate and significant reduction of 10 absolute points in benzodiazepine use (27.0% to 17.0%) after Medicare Part D was implemented (95% confidence interval, –0.11 to –0.09; P < .001). Benzodiazepine use remained stable in the partial-supplemental- and complete-supplemental-coverage states. Hazard ratios for incident hip fracture were 1.60 (95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 2.45; P = .03) in the no-supplemental-coverage state after Medicare Part D implementation and 1.17 (95% confidence interval, 0.93 to 1.46; P = .18) in the partial-supplemental-coverage states, relative to complete-supplemental-coverage states.

Conclusion  Supplemental drug coverage exclusion policies affect the medication use of nursing home residents and may not decrease their fracture risk.

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