Indianapolis, IN, USA – An estimated 70% to 80% of the US population will experience low back pain in their lifetimes. Of these, ten percent will progress to chronic low back pain. For a vast majority of these patients an oral pain medication, such as duloxetine, will be part of their treatment regimen.
Duloxetine offers a new alternative to opioids (e.g., oxycodone, tapentadol) for patients for whom NSAIDs (e.g., naproxen, celecoxib) have failed or who are at high risk of NSAID-related adverse events, including patients over 65. Duloxetine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, has demonstrated beneficial analgesic effects for patients with chronic low back pain in three clinical trials.
Researchers at Medical Decision Modeling Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company performed an analysis comparing costs and outcomes for duloxetine to seven other oral medications prescribed by physicians when the initial treatment regimen (acetaminophen) has proven ineffective. This analysis estimated that duloxetine provides better quality of life than all other comparators, and lower cost than strong opioids. Duloxetine may also be a cost-effective alternative to NSAIDs for many patients, especially those who at risk for substantial side effects from prolonged use of NSAIDs. These patients include the elderly and patients with cardiac or gastrointestinal conditions.
Ron Wielage, MA, MPH, Vice President, Modeling, Analytics and Database Analysis, Medical Decision Modeling Inc. commenting for the research team said, “To the best of our knowledge, our model is the first cost-effectiveness analysis performed for oral treatments in chronic low back pain. We are pleased to find duloxetine may be a cost-effective treatment alternative to strong opioids in chronic low back pain, and even an alternative to NSAIDs for older patients or patients at higher risk of NSAID-related adverse events.”
The full study, “The Cost-Effectiveness of Duloxetine in Chronic Low Back Pain: A US Private Payer Perspective” is published in Value in Health.
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
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