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Express Scripts Unveils New Opportunities to Drive Down Healthcare Costs; Presents Five Studies at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Conference
Date:10/13/2010

as similar regardless of whether the new agent was a brand or generic anti-epileptic drug.

The company is also presenting two studies on antidepressants. One compares discontinuation rates and healthcare costs between patients starting brand and generic sertraline. Another examines discontinuation rates and costs between patients starting any brand or generic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Conclusions of the antidepressant studies included that the short-term costs of using brand versus generic sertraline were similar, and the costs of using any generic SSRIs and SNRIs were lower. Both studies found that the risks of discontinuation were similar in patients starting either a brand or generic antidepressant.

Express Scripts researchers are also presenting two additional studies at the conference:

  • An analysis of the effect of message framing on patients' decisions related to cost savings opportunities. In the study, patients who received letters that employed an illusion of progress message frame were more likely to choose to save on prescription costs by switching to a lower-cost alternative drug or moving a prescription from a retail pharmacy to home delivery. The principle of illusion of progress proposes that people behave differently the closer they get to an end goal or reward, and that they will accelerate a particular behavior to reach that point faster.
  • A study of a commercially insured cohort of breast cancer patients, describing the use of filgrastim and pegfilgrastim. These agents are used to improve tolerability of chemotherapy regimens. Researchers found that actual use of these agents often deviated from established treatment guidelines, including a substantial number of patients who received concurrent therapy with both agents. These concurrent users received a lower intensity of treatment, but were on therapy for a significantly longe
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  • SOURCE Express Scripts, Inc.
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