A study of Humana members enrolled in commercial and Medicare Advantage plans showed that patients with fibromyalgia have higher health care utilization and costs than those without the disease.1 This is because of higher use of office visits, testing, and procedures as well as pain-related medications.
The authors analyzed medical and pharmacy claims data from 9988 patients with fibromyalgia and 9988 members without fibromyalgia (control group). The mean annual use of pain-related medication was 2.1 times higher among those with fibromyalgia in the prediagnosis period and 2.4 times higher after diagnosis (Table). Opioids and NSAIDs were most likely to be used.
1. Palacio A, Uribe C, Li H, et al. Use and costs of healthcare resources in fibromyalgia: a case-control comparison. Presented at: Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 22nd Annual Meeting and Showcase; April 9-10, 2010; San Diego.