265701 Aging Medications: Cost and Utilization Patterns

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:06 PM - 1:18 PM

Reethi Iyengar, PhD , Research and New Solutions, Express Scripts, St Louis, MO
Rochelle Henderson, PhD , Research and New Solutions, Express Scripts, St Louis, MO
Yuhong Tian, PhD , Research and New Solutions, Express Scripts, St Louis, MO
Bradey Gotto, PharmD , Tricare Division, U.S. Navy / Express Scripts Extern, St Louis, MO
Americans spent over $45 billion in 2006 on cosmetic drugs, plastic surgery, hormone therapy and other medications in an attempt to look and feel younger. Erectile dysfunction, menopause, skin wrinkles and hair loss, once a normal part of the aging process, are now treated as a medical condition to be slowed and even reversed with medications. The focus of this research was to examine the cost and utilization of medications associated with the medicalization of the aging process. Ambulatory prescription claims of a commercially insured and Medicare population for the years of 2007 to 2010 were obtained from a national PBM to examine the cost and utilization trends of “Aging Drugs” related to HRT, sexual dysfunction, mental alertness, urinary incontinence, insomnia, hair loss and skin aging. The main outcome measure was trend in per-member-per-year prescriptions filled and costs. Costs for the commercially insured population increased by more than 27.4% between 2007 and 2010 and only increased by 3.8% in Medicare. Utilization increased by 11.7% for commercially insured population and 16.5% for Medicare beneficiaries. The results indicate that total per member per year spend ($69.34) in 2010 on aging medications by commercial members exceeded per member per year spend on high blood pressure/heart disease ($67.49). The findings suggest that the increased cost and utilization of these medications are on par with medications to treat chronic medical conditions, thus providing a management challenge for plan sponsors. Given today's' increasingly aging population, this requires closer inspection.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To examine incremental per member per year costs and utilization for pharmacy benefits on medications related to the process of aging medications To compare and contrast the total spend and utilization trends of aging medications between Medicare and commercially insured populations

Keywords: Aging, Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have previously published papers in many national and regional conferences in US, India and Europe. I have also published papers in peer reviewed journals. Lately, my scientific interests has been in the area of aging and medication use.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.