Cost sharing for antiepileptic drugs: Medication utilization and health plan costs

Nina R. Joyce, Jesse Fishman, Sarah Green, David M. Labiner, Imane Wild, David C. Grabowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the association between health plan out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for antiepileptic drugs and healthcare utilization (HCU) and overall plan spending among US-based commercial health plan beneficiaries with epilepsy. Study Design: Retrospective cohort. Methods: The Truven MarketScan Commercial Claims database for January 1, 2009, to June 30, 2015, was used. Patients 65 years or younger with epilepsy and at least 12 months of continuous enrollment before index (date meeting first epilepsy diagnostic criteria) were included. Analyses were adjusted for age group, gender, beneficiary relationship, insurance plan type, and Charlson Comorbidity Index score. Primary outcomes included proportion of days covered (PDC), HCU, and healthcare spending in 90-day postindex periods. Associations between OOP costs and mean PDC, HCU, and plan healthcare spending per 90-day period were estimated. Results: Across 5159 plans, 187,241 beneficiaries met eligibility criteria; 54.3% were female, 41.7% were aged 45 to 65 years, and 62.4% were in preferred provider organization plans. Across postindex 90-day periods, mean (SD) PDC, epilepsy-specific hospitalizations, outpatient visits, and emergency department visits were 0.85 (0.26), 0.02 (0.13), 0.34 (0.47), and 0.05 (0.22), respectively. Median (interquartile range) spending per 90-day period was $1488 ($459-$4705); median epilepsy-specific spending was $139 ($18-$623). Multivariable linear regression without health plan fixed effects revealed that higher OOP spending was associated with a decrease in PDC (coefficient, -0.008; 95% CI, -0.009 to -0.006; P <.001) and an increase in overall spending (218.6; 95% CI, 47.9-389.2; P = .012). Health plan fixed effects model estimates were similar, except for epilepsy-specific spending, which was significant (120.6; 95% CI, 29.2-211.9; P = .010). Conclusions: Increases in beneficiaries' OOP costs led to higher overall spending and lower PDC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e183-e189
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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