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Prescription refills and healthcare costs associated with topical metronidazole in Medicaid enrolled patients with rosacea.

J Dermatolog Treat. 2008;19(5):267-73

Authors: Jayawant SS, Feldman SR, Camacho FT, Yentzer B, Balkrishnan R

BACKGROUND: Refill adherence to medications and healthcare costs are important factors to consider while making informed decisions regarding the treatment of rosacea patients. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine predictors of number of refills related to topical metronidazole and total healthcare costs in rosacea patients. METHODS: This study utilized a longitudinal cohort design and followed rosacea patients enrolled in North Carolina Medicaid and who were prescribed at least one study medication (topical metronidazole, adapalene, azelaic acid, permethrin, and sulfacetamide). Patients' demographic characteristics, number of metronidazole refills, and different components of healthcare costs were examined. RESULTS: Out of the total 2587 rosacea patients, the majority (approximately 69%, n=1771) had one or more prescriptions for topical metronidazole. Most of the patients in this study were white (73%). After controlling for other variables, increasing age was associated with a higher number of metronidazole refills and healthcare costs (both p<0.001). Compared with white patients, African American patients had a significantly lower number of metronidazole refills (p<0.001). Compared with white patients, African American patients and 'other' races were associated with an 8.6% and 10.3% decrease in total healthcare costs respectively (both p<0.001). An increase in the number of metronidazole refills was not associated with an increase in healthcare costs. CONCLUSION: Patients' race is significantly associated with the number of topical metronidazole refills. Patients' healthcare costs increased with increasing age and charges paid for prescriptions. Topical metronidazole seems to be an economically feasible treatment option for Medicaid-enrolled patients with rosacea.

PMID: 19160531 [PubMed - in process]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...p;dopt=Abstract = URL to article

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