SOURCE: AMCP

July 06, 2005 11:44 ET

Evaluation of the Cost-Effectiveness of Sibutramine (Meridia) Within a Managed Care Weight-Loss Program; 33% More Drug Formulary Switches Result From Letter Intervention Program

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 6, 2005 -- The July-August 2005 issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP) is now available in print and online. Featured articles include:

Cost-Effectiveness of Sibutramine (Meridia) Within a Managed Care Weight-Loss Program ...

Pharmacoeconomic evaluation of the results from a prospective randomized trial found that adding sibutramine to a comprehensive weight management behavioral modification program increased the total cost by $44 per additional pound of weight loss. The change in total health care cost at 12 months was a median $1,279 increase in the sibutramine group compared with $271 increase for the nondrug group (P < 0.001), and the change in obesity-related total cost was a median $408 increase in the sibutramine group compared with a $31 increase for the nondrug group (P < 0.001).

An accompanying editorial, "'U Can't Touch This' with Pharmacotherapy Alone for Weight Loss or Smoking Cessation" suggests that the pharmacoeconomic benefits may be established for tobacco cessation but are less clear for weight-loss medications. The average weight loss at 12 months in the managed care clinical study was 5.0 pounds (2.2% of baseline body weight) for the behavioral weight management program compared with 13.7 pounds (4.8% of baseline body weight) for the sibutramine + behavioral weight management program. This absolute difference of less than 3% of baseline body weight loss with sibutramine, combined with the absence of benefits in measures of cholesterol, glucose, or hemoglobin A1c in patients with diabetes, argues against population-based coverage of weight-loss medications at this time.

Randomized Controlled Trial Finds 33% More Drug Formulary Switches for Patient-Specific Letter Intervention Program ...

A randomized controlled trial found that beneficiaries who received a targeted, patient-specific letter regarding an impending change in drug formulary status and copayment amount were 1.33 times more likely to switch to a formulary drug (P < 0.001). Prior to adjustment for baseline differences, the absolute rate of change to a preferred formulary drug was 19.2% in the letter-intervention arm versus 12.0% in the control arm (P < 0.001).

The Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy is published nine times per year and is a benefit of membership in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. A peer-reviewed publication of original research for pharmacy practitioners and health care providers, JMCP is approved by the National Library of Medicine and indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed. The current edition is available at: http://www.amcp.org/data/jmcp/July2005.pdf.

Questions about the publication may be directed to Editor-in-Chief Frederic R. Curtiss, PhD, RPh, CEBS, at fcurtiss@amcp.org.

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's mission is to empower its members to serve society by using sound medication management principles and strategies to achieve positive patient outcomes. AMCP has more than 4,800 members nationally who provide comprehensive coverage and services to the more than 200 million Americans served by managed care. More news and information about AMCP can be obtained on its website, www.amcp.org.

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