NEWS

Determining Indirect Costs of Ovarian Cancer

December 5, 2018

Work loss costs associated with absenteeism, short-term disability, and long-term disability were two-to-four times higher for patients with ovarian cancer who took leave after initiating chemotherapy treatment, according to results of a study presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Nexus (October 22-25, 2018; Orlando, FL).

Indirect costs are important to consider when examining the economic impact, financial toxicity, and value of ovarian cancer treatments. However, limited data exist regarding the indirect costs associated with ovarian cancer and disease treatment.

Researchers from IBM Watson,HeadSpace, and AstraZeneca conducted a trial to assess indirect costs associated with work loss of patients with ovarian cancer. Women aged 18 to 64 years with at least one inpatient or two outpatient non-diagnostic claims for ovarian cancer between July 2009 and December 2014 were identified from the IBM MarketScan Health and Productivity Management Database. Patients were required to have continuous health plan enrollment for at least 6 months before and at least 12 months after the index date (first ovarian cancer claim), and have absence, short term-disability, or long-term disability data in the 12 months after the index date.

Researchers matched cases in each of the work-loss eligibility cohorts to non-ovarian cancer controls (1: up to 3) based on demographic and clinical characteristics. Per patient per month indirect costs were estimated.

A total of 158 ovarian cancer cases with absence data were matched to 456 controls, 956 cases with short-term disability data were matched to 2867 controls, and 828 cases with long-term disability were matched to 2484 controls. Researchers noted that 31% of absence cases, 33% of short-term disability cases, and 33% of long-term disability cases received chemotherapy. Carboplatin and paclitaxel were the most commonly used agents among all ovarian cancer cohorts.

Estimated per patient per month costs associated with absence, short-term disability, and long-term disability among cases vs controls were $513 (± 508) vs $403 (± 265), $335 (± 544) vs $45 (± 99), and $53 (± 268) vs $4 (± 86), respectively. In the 30-day period following chemotherapy initiation, cases incurred indirect costs of $330 (± 904) due to absence, $431 (± 973) due to short-term disability, and $25 (± 239) due to long-term disability.

When considering only the patients who used the respective leave benefit during the 30-day chemotherapy period, researchers found the costs were $2003 (± 1285) due to absence, $2439 (± 677) due to short-term disability, and $1888 (± 924) due to long-term disability.

“Costs associated with absenteeism, short-term disability, and long-term disability were higher for patients with ovarian cancer compared with controls,” authors of the study concluded. “Among ovarian cancer cases, work loss costs were two-to-four times higher when patients took leave after initiating chemotherapy treatment.”

Zachary Bessette


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