IBS-D puts financial strain on patients: 4 study insights

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A study published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy examined the burden irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea places on patients.

Jessica Buono, of Allergan, and colleagues examined 39,309 patients from the Truven Health MarketScan research database with a ≥ 1 medical claim diagnosis code for any position for IBS and diarrhea in 2013. Researchers compared those claims to a control group with no claims for IBS, diarrhea, abdominal pain or symptom-related prescriptions in 2013.

The experimental and control group were a one-to-one split. Mean age was 47 ± 17 years and 76.5 percent were female.

Here's what they found.

1. IBS-D patients had a greater amount of hospitalizations, emergency department visits and monthly prescription fills.

2. Mean annual all-cause healthcare costs for IBS-D patients were $13,038 with 58.4 percent attributed to office visits and outpatient services. Of the total, 19.5 percent was attributable to prescriptions, 13.6 percent for inpatients admissions and 8.5 percent for emergency department visits.

3. Gastrointestinal-related costs were $3,817 and symptom-related costs were $1,693. Outpatient settings primarily addressed the symptom-related cost.

4. Researchers adjusted for demographics and comorbidities. Incremental annual all-cause costs were $2,268 per patient/year. Approximately 78 percent of those costs were medical and 22 percent were prescription.

Researchers concluded that IBS-D put a substantial burden on its patients. They said, "Compared with matched controls, IBS-D patients had greater medical service use and incurred significantly more annual all-cause healthcare costs, even after controlling for demographics and comorbidities."

Note: Allergan funded this study. The authors received no compensation related to the development of the manuscript.

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