OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to compare all-cause and stroke- and bleed-specific healthcare costs among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) treated with dabigatran or warfarin.
METHODS: Administrative claims data from the MarketScan® Databases for 2009–2014 were used. Patients with NVAF newly treated with dabigatran were matched 1:1 to those treated with warfarin. All-cause and stroke- and bleed-specific costs per patient per month (PPPM) ($US, year 2015 values) up to a 12-month follow-up period were analyzed. Stroke- or bleed-specific costs were defined as hospitalizations with stroke or bleed as the primary discharge diagnosis and outpatient claims with stroke or bleed diagnosis in any position. Differences in costs between dabigatran and warfarin users were assessed using descriptive and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 18,980 dabigatran-treated patients were matched to corresponding warfarin-treated patients. Adjusted all-cause total healthcare, inpatient, and outpatient costs were significantly lower for the dabigatran cohort ($US3053 vs. 3433; $US904 vs. 1194; $US1594 vs. 1894, respectively; all p < 0.001), but mean pharmacy costs were significantly higher ($US556 vs. 345, p < 0.001). Stroke-specific total healthcare and outpatient costs were significantly lower for the dabigatran than for the warfarin cohort ($US30.37 vs. 40.99 and $US7.36 vs. 12.20, respectively; p < 0.05 for both values). Similarly, bleed-specific total healthcare and inpatient costs were significantly lower for the dabigatran than for the warfarin cohort ($US50.00 vs. 73.49 and $US27.75 vs. 48.66, respectively; p < 0.01 for both values).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients receiving dabigatran had significantly lower total all-cause, inpatient, and outpatient costs but higher pharmacy costs than those receiving warfarin. In addition, stroke-specific total and outpatient costs and bleed-specific total and inpatient costs were significantly lower in dabigatran users compared with warfarin users.