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Trends in Drug Spending of Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation, 2014-2021.

Lee JS, Han S, Therrien NL, Park C, Luo F, Essien UR. Trends in Drug Spending of Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation, 2014-2021. American journal of preventive medicine. 2024 Mar 1; 66(3):463-472.

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INTRODUCTION: This study documents cost trends in oral anticoagulants (OAC) in patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. METHODS: Using MarketScan databases, the mean annual patients'' out-of-pocket costs, insurance payments, and the proportion of patients initiating OAC within 90 days from atrial fibrillation diagnosis were calculated from July 2014 to June 2021. Costs of OACs (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, rivaroxaban, and warfarin) and the payments by three insurance types (commercial payers, Medicare, and Medicaid) were calculated. Patients'' out-of-pocket costs and insurance payments were adjusted to 2021 prices. Joinpoint regression models were used to test trends of outcomes and average annual percent changes (AAPC) were reported. Data analyses were performed in 2022-2023. RESULTS: From July 2014 to June 2021, the mean annual out-of-pocket costs of any OAC increased for commercial insurance (AAPC 3.0%) and Medicare (AAPC 5.1%) but decreased for Medicaid (AAPC -3.3%). The mean annual insurance payments for any OAC significantly increased for all insurance groups (AAPC 13.1% [95% CI 11.3-15.0] for Medicare; AAPC 11.8% [95% CI 8.0-15.6] for commercial insurance; and AAPC 16.3% [95% CI 11.3-21.4] for Medicaid). The initiation of any OAC increased (AAPC 7.3% for commercial insurance; AAPC 10.2% for Medicare; AAPC 5.3% for Medicaid). CONCLUSIONS: There was a substantial increase in the overall cost burden of OACs and OAC initiation rates in patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation in 2014-2021; these findings provide insights into the current and anticipated impact of rising drug prices on patients'' and payers'' financial burden.

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