Drug Benefit Trends Vol 21 No 6

Drug Safety as Job One

July 18, 2009

Recently, after getting her regular prescription for Synthroid filled at the pharmacy, my mother called the physician to complain that she just didn’t feel well. The doctor was considering increasing the dosage when my mother noticed that the pills looked different. She had been given a generic version. Her prescription was changed back to Synthroid and she felt fine again.

Workers’ Rx Costs Rise Despite Injury Rate Decline

July 18, 2009

Medication spend for workers’ compensation claims continues to increase despite decreases in overall occupational injury rates. Medication costs increased by 5.4% in 2008 following a 3.3% rise in 2007 (Cover Figure), according to findings of the 2009 Annual Drug Trends Report for Workers’ Compensation. The report was compiled and analyzed by PMSI, Tampa, Fla.

Economic Burden Associated With Parkinson Disease

July 18, 2009

The objective of this study was to estimate the annual cost burden of Parkinson disease (PD) in the United States. Resource use and cost profiles were developed using all-payer statewide hospital discharge data from 6 states; emergency department visit, long-term–care, and national survey data; fee schedules; and published study findings. (Average direct and indirect costs per patient were calculated in 2007 US dollars.) The annual cost per patient was $21,626 (direct cost: $12,491). When applied to the US PD population (N = 500,000), the annual average cost was approximately $10.78 billion (direct costs, $6.22 billion; indirect costs, $4.56 billion). PD has substantial economic consequences for patients and their families, insurers, and society. (Drug Benefit Trends. 2009;21:179-190)

Recession Spurs Employees to Examine Health Plan Costs, Adopt Healthy Behaviors

July 18, 2009

Employees are making changes to improve their health and better control their own health care costs in response to the current recession, according to results of a survey conducted for the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) by Fidelity Consulting Services.

The HIV-Positive Surgeon: Weighing the Risks

July 18, 2009

The recent report on an HIV-positive cardiothoracic surgeon in Israel has offered a contemporary perspective on the risks of transmission of HIV in health care settings, specifically surgical settings.

Treating Chronic Suicidality

July 18, 2009

Suicidal behavior describes not only death caused by suicide but also intentional, nonfatal, self-injurious acts committed with or without the intent to cause death. Less severe suicidal attempts are particularly characteristic of persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD).