JMCP Key Subjects

Medical Costs Associated with Use of Systemic Therapy in Adults with Colorectal Cancer

AUTHORS: Brian S. Seal, Sean D. Sullivan, Scott Ramsey, Kenneth M. Shermock, Jinma Ren, Charlie Kreilick, Susan H. Foltz Boklage, Satish Valluri, Syam Sarma, Carl V. Asche

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SUMMARY:

BACKGROUND: New cytotoxic agents and regimens, as well as immunotherapeutics, have recently been introduced for treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). 
OBJECTIVE: To identify the patient-related and clinical and treatment-
related factors associated with higher total health care expenditures in newly diagnosed patients with CRC who are receiving systemic therapy (biologic or chemotherapy) from a commercially insured population.
 
METHODS: A longitudinal, retrospective analysis was employed to estimate costs and determinants of CRC treatment in a U.S. claims database for health care services used by commercial patients aged 18 to 64 years, who were diagnosed with CRC between January 1, 2005, and June 30, 2009. Generalized linear regression modeling was used to estimate the influence of demographic, clinical, and treatment factors on medical expenditures.
 
RESULTS: Among the 5,160 patients newly diagnosed with CRC, 99.6% of patients had chemotherapy; 32.6% had biologics; and 85.6% had other pharmaceuticals (excluding the chemotherapy and biologics of interest). The average annualized per patient cost of CRC treatment was $97,400 and consisted of chemotherapy ($17,500), biologics ($30,400), other pharmaceuticals ($2,300), inpatient treatment ($26,300), and outpatient treatment ($42,900). From first line only, first and second lines only, and third+ lines, the cost per patient was $70,500, $100,100, and $152,900, respectively. After adjusting for health care inflation, the average treatment cost of CRC patients increased by 73% from 2005 to 2009. Adjusted analyses showed that the higher medical cost for CRC patients was associated with use of new regimens, metastasis, comorbidities, surgery, radiation, insurance plan, age, sex, and region. 
 
CONCLUSION: The health care cost of CRC treatment is increasing significantly over time, which is most likely caused by the use of new regimens, higher chances of surgery and radiation, and occurrence of various comorbidities and metastatic diseases due to increasing survival time.

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