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Prescription Digital Therapeutic for SUD Linked to Lower Costs, Health Care Use


Patients with substance abuse disorder (SUD) saw a significant reduction in hospital encounters and per-patient costs after the initiation of a prescription digital therapeutic.

Treatment with a prescription digital therapeutic (PDT) resulted in reduced health care utilization and per-patient costs for patients with substance use disorder (SUD), according to a recent study.

Developed by Pear Therapeutics, the system , called reSET, is the only FDA-authorized PDT for the treatment of SUD, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and stimulants.

The treatment involves a 12-week therapeutic combining cognitive behavioral therapy, a contingency management system, and fluency training through interactive, on-demand audio, text, and video modules.

The retrospective study, published in Advances in Therapy, compared the 6-month incidence of all-cause hospital facility encounters and clinician services in patients treated with reSET before and after reSET initiation.

The sample included 101 patients with a median age of 37 years (50.5% female, 54.5% male, Medicaid insured).

Of the patients in the study, 71.4% had an alcohol related disorder, 41.6% had a nicotine related disorder, 38% had an opioid related disorder, 33.7% had a cannabis related disorder, 29.7% had a cocaine related disorder, and 10.9% had a disorder related to a stimulant other than cocaine. Some patients had multiple substance disorders.

The study found that patients treated with reSET PDT experienced a 50% reduction in overall hospital encounters 6 months after initiation of treatment and a per-patient cost reduction of $3591 driven by the reduction in healthcare resource utilization.

Statistically significant decreases in inpatient stays (56%), partial hospitalizations (57%), and emergency department (ED) visits (45%) were observed.

Use of multiple clinician services across service categories decreased as well: pathology and laboratory services-other (54%), alcohol and drug abuse medication services (46%), and alcohol and drug abuse: treatment program (11%).

These results indicate that reSET PDT supports durable treatment outcomes, reductions in healthcare resource utilization, and reductions in patient costs that may alleviate some of the cost burden SUDs place on health care systems, according to the company.

“This new study suggests a longer-term durability of outcomes for patients with substance use disorder, while also a reduction in the use of more costly health care resources in the first 6 months,” said Yuri Maricich, MD, chief medical officer and head of development at Pear Therapeutics.

The study is thought to be the first to show real-world effectiveness and net monetary benefit to the health system for a treatment intervention for SUD, noted the authors.

The observed reductions in service usage are particularly significant in the context of reported increases in service usage for patients with SUD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PDTs are thought to eliminate barriers to SUD treatment such as geographical barriers, inconsistent delivery, lack of specialty facilities, and difficulty accessing physicians and in-person programs, including impacts of quarantine and lockdowns.

“As we strive to provide additional, flexible, and remote approaches to treatment for these patients and their communities, it’s increasingly critical to understand the effectiveness, durability, and value PDTs bring to patients, clinicians, and payors,” said Maricich.


Pear Therapeutics announces new analysis showing reduction in healthcare resources utilization and associated costs in patients using reSET® at six months [press release]. Boston, Massachusetts: Pear Therapeutics, Inc; June 6, 2022. peartherapeutics.com/pear-therapeutics-announces-new-analysis-showing-reduction-in-healthcare-resource-utilization-and-associated-costs-in-patients-using-reset-at-six-months/. Accessed June 10, 2022.

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