Initial antiretroviral therapy (ART) is modified for non-virologic failure reasons in many patients, and the healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and costs associated with these switches in the real world is not well understood.
Administrative claims data from the Optum Research and Impact National Benchmark Databases were utilized. Adult patients (≥18 years) with HIV-1 diagnosis code , and claim for an anchor agent of the protease inhibitor (PI) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) class in first-line ART between 07/01/2006 and 12/31/2015 were identified (see Fig. 1 for addl. criteria). Patients with a claim for an anchor agent (PI or NNRTI) different from that in first-line ART were defined as switchers, with index date as date of first claim for new anchor agent. Switchers were matched to patients who did not switch (non-switchers) at 1:3 ratio using propensity score matching on patient and first-line ART characteristics. For non-switchers, date following corresponding duration of first-line ART in matched switcher was assigned as index date. Per-patient-per-month (PPPM) all-cause HRU and costs (US$) during switch period (±15 days of index date) were compared descriptively.
11,302 patients met study criteria. After matching, switcher (1,204) and non-switcher (3,612) groups were comparable on mean age (41.9 vs 41.7 years), percent male (85.8% vs 82.6%), percent commercial enrollee (96.0% vs 95.8%), mean Quan-Charlson comorbidity index score (both 0.4), and mean ART pill burden (both 2.2) with standard difference less than absolute value of 10%. During switch period, switchers had higher mean PPPM ambulatory visits (2.30 vs 1.26), emergency room visits (0.12 vs 0.06), inpatient stays (0.04 vs 0.01), and pharmacy fills (4.52 vs 3.01) than non-switchers (all P<0.001). Switchers also incurred greater mean PPPM costs during switch than non-switchers, with an additional $2,261/month total cost, and $1,031/month pharmacy cost (Fig. 2).
The study gives a more complete view of the burden of switching initial ART with pharmacy costs driving this burden. Assuming some patients will switch regardless of the regimen selected, less expensive initial ART could reduce this burden further.
J. Mcpheeters, Merck & Co.: Research Contractor , Sarary from Optum
G. Prajapati, Merck & Co., Inc.: Employee , Salary
A. Beyer, Merck & Co., Inc: Employee and Shareholder , Salary