Empagliflozin Linked to 20% Drop in Care Costs for T2D, CVD

December 15, 2020
Gianna Melillo

Gianna is an associate editor of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®). She has been working on AJMC® since 2019 and has a BA in philosophy and journalism & professional writing from The College of New Jersey.

SAP Partners | <b>Highmark</b>

An outcomes-based agreement conducted by Boehringer Ingelheim and Highmark found that use of Jardiance (empagliflozin) among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and known cardiovascular disease (CVD) was associated with a total cost of care savings of over 20%.

An outcomes-based agreement conducted by Boehringer Ingelheim and Highmark found that use of Jardiance (empagliflozin) among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and known cardiovascular disease (CVD) was associated with a total cost of care savings of over 20%.

The outcomes-based agreement, launched in 2018, compared total annual cost of care in this population with that of patients prescribed other branded or generic anti-hyperglycemic medications.

Empagliflozin is an oral sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor first developed to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D) and currently indicated to reduce the risk of CV death in adults with T2D and known CVD. A recent study also found the drug works equally well to prevent renal decline regardless of patients’ chronic kidney disease (CKD) status. T2D is associated with an increased risk of CVD, chronic kidney disease, and stroke, while 1 in 2 individuals with T2D worldwide die from a CV event.

The companies’ agreement was designed to evaluate cost of care for in-scope patients over a 1-year period using actuarial analytical methods, according to a joint statement. Researchers performed a retrospective analysis of pharmacy and medical claims. Results showed those taking empagliflozin demonstrated a reduction in medical costs of over 30%. “Factoring in both medical and pharmacy costs, the overall total cost of care reduction was more than 20% for patients on Jardiance,” the statement reads.

T2D accounts for 90% to 95% of the over 34 million Americans living with diabetes, while annual medical expenses for those diagnosed with diabetes in 2017 was $237 billion. This sum represented a 26% increase over a 5-year period. By 2035, costs for CVD are projected to surpass $1 trillion.

“Highmark is committed to developing solutions that provide access to treatments that improve outcomes and reduce the total cost of care for chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, which have a huge impact on our members and on our healthcare system,” said Kayse Reitmeyer, manager of pharmacy contracting at Highmark. “The reduction in medical costs seen in this analysis may stem from fewer medical and hospital interventions related to diabetes and heart disease for Highmark members in the Jardiance group.”

In a 2019 report, the Institute for Clinical and Economic review (ICER) found empagliflozin was more cost-effective than oral semaglutide as a first line treatment given after metformin to patients with T2D. An additional analysis, also published in 2019, concluded empagliflozin was more effective for patients with T2D and established cardiovascular disease than either of 2 well-known drugs from a competitor class (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 [DPP-4] inhibitors).

Side effects of empagliflozin can include dehydration, ketoacidosis, kidney problems, and hypoglycemia, while the most common side effects are urinary tract infections and yeast infections in females.

The results of the current outcomes-based agreement demonstrated empagliflozin can reduce the economic burden of T2D and CVD, underscoring its value to the healthcare system, said Christine Marsh, senior vice president of market access at Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are proud of our unique partnership with Highmark and our efforts show how pharmaceutical companies and payers can work together to ensure people living with these chronic, debilitating conditions get the best, guideline-directed care while lowering total medical costs,” Marsh said.