The American Journal of Managed Care December 2010
Comparison of Healthcare Utilization Among Patients Treated With Alcoholism Medications
Treatment of alcohol dependence with medications offered advantages in reduced healthcare utilization and costs compared with usual treatment without medications.
Prior studies6,8-10 of oral naltrexone have shown that most patients do not persist through a clinically relevant course of treatment, and nonpersistence has been associated with significantly more intensive healthcare services utilization.9 In the present study, the group receiving naltrexone XR had greater medication utilization and lower inpatient services utilization and costs than the groups receiving oral alcoholism medications. These findings may be attributable to the administration of naltrexone XR formulation on a monthly basis rather than a daily basis. The findings from this study have important implications for alcohol dependence pharmacotherapy and provide support for the use of FDA-approved medications, particularly naltrexone XR, in clinical settings. Additional comparative research on alcohol dependence pharmacotherapy using larger samples and longer durations of treatment is needed to enhance the care of this undertreated patient population.
Author Affiliations: From Thomson Reuters Inc (TLM), Washington, DC; Thomson Reuters Inc (LM), Cambridge, MA; University of Connecticut School of Medicine (HRK), Farmington, CT; Treatment Research Institute, Inc (MC), Philadelphia, PA; and Alkermes Inc (DRG), Waltham, MA.
Funding Source: This study was funded through a contract from Alkermes Inc to Thompson Reuters Inc. Dr Kranzler's involvement was supported by grant K24 AA013736 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Author Disclosures: Dr Kranzler reports serving as a paid consultant for Gilead Sciences and has received research grants from Merck & Co. Dr Gastfriend is an employee of Alkermes Inc and reports owning stock in the company. The other authors (TLM, LBM, MC) report no relationship or financial interest with any entity that would pose a conflict of interest with the subject matter of this article. Authorship Information: Concept and design (TLM, LBM, HRK, MC, DRG); acquisition of data (TLM, LBM); analysis and interpretation of data (TLM, LBM, HRK, MC, DRG); drafting of the manuscript (TLM, LBM, HRK, MC, DRG); critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (TLM, HRK, MC, DRG); statistical analysis (TLM); obtaining funding (TLM, LBM, DRG); administrative, technical, or logistic support (TLM, LBM); and supervision (TLM, DRG).
Address correspondence to: Tami L. Mark, PhD, Thomson Reuters Inc, 4301 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 330, Washington, DC 20008. E-mail: tami. email@example.com.
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