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Early National Dissemination of Abiraterone and Enzalutamide for Advanced Prostate Cancer in Medicare Part D.

Caram MEV, Borza T, Min HS, Griggs JJ, Miller DC, Hollenbeck BK, Mukherjee B, Skolarus TA. Early National Dissemination of Abiraterone and Enzalutamide for Advanced Prostate Cancer in Medicare Part D. Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2017 Aug 1; 13(8):e694-e702.

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INTRODUCTION: Abiraterone and enzalutamide were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 and 2012 to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Most men with mCRPC are > 65 years of age and thus eligible for Medicare Part D. We conducted a study to better understand the early dissemination of these drugs across the United States using national Medicare Part D data. METHODS: We evaluated the number of prescriptions for abiraterone and enzalutamide by provider specialty and hospital referral region (HRR) using Medicare Part D and Dartmouth Atlas data. We categorized HRRs by abiraterone and enzalutamide prescriptions, adjusted for prostate cancer incidence, and examined factors associated with regional variation using multilevel regression models. RESULTS: Among providers who wrote the majority of prescriptions for abiraterone or enzalutamide in 2013 (n = 2,121), 87.5% were medical oncologists, 3.3% were urologists, and 9.2% were other provider specialties. Among prescribers, approximately 30% were responsible for three quarters of the claims for abiraterone and 20% were responsible for more than half the claims for enzalutamide. Some HRRs demonstrated low-prescribing rates despite average medical oncology and urology physician workforce density. Our multilevel model demonstrated that regional factors potentially influenced variation in care. CONCLUSION: The majority of prescriptions written for abiraterone and enzalutamide through Medicare Part D in 2013 were written by a minority of providers, with marked regional variation across the United States. Better understanding of the early national dissemination of these effective but expensive drugs can help inform strategies to optimize introduction of new, evidence-based mCRPC treatments.

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