Does Antipsychotic Treatment Impact Pediatric Health Care Costs?16 Mar 2009
Declining health care costs in pediatric patients treated with antipsychotic agents are being offset by the health care costs associated with the development of adverse events related to these medications.
Using retrospective data from South Carolina's Medicaid medical and pharmacy claims between January, 1996 and December, 2005, researchers Jeanette Jerrell, Ph.D., and Roger McIntyre, M.D., identified 4140 children and adolescents prescribed antipsychotic medications, and a random sample of 4500 children not treated with psychotropic medications. Their main outcome measures were total health care costs and emergency, inpatient, and outpatient services use over time, but they included pre-existing medical conditions, receipt of multiple psychotropic medications, and individual risk factor differences for gender, age group, and ethnicity in the analyses.
Dr. Jerrell, a professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, reported, "The development of adverse medical conditions related to antipsychotic medication use in children and adolescents is significantly associated with higher total health care costs and to use of outpatient, emergency, and inpatient services over time. The difference is about 34% higher, on average, over 8-9 years of service through Medicaid, compared to those without these conditions."
Detailed results regarding the impact of antipsychotic medications on pediatric health care costs will be discussed in their upcoming article "Health care costs of pediatric clients developing adverse events during treatment with antipsychotics," in a future issue of Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research and help health care leaders to make decisions that are solidly evidence-based. The journal is published bi-monthly and has a regular readership of over 4,000 clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide.
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