Healthcare utilization and costs associated with dabigatran compared to warfarin treatment in newly diagnosed patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Real-world healthcare resource utilization and costs were compared among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) receiving either dabigatran or warfarin. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using administrative claims data from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) Military Health System. Patients with newly diagnosed AF initiated on dabigatran or warfarin were identified using ICD-9 diagnosis, procedure and drug codes. Patients were observed for 3 months prior to treatment initiation to ascertain a diagnosis of valvular heart disease and 12 months for exclusion of those with a history of anticoagulation therapy. Propensity score matching was used to balance baseline characteristics between the two treatment cohorts. Medical and pharmacy utilization and costs were compared between the dabigatran and warfarin treatment groups for 3 and 12 months following treatment initiation. RESULTS: A total of 1102 patients with newly diagnosed NVAF initiated on dabigatran were matched with corresponding warfarin-treated patients. In the 12 months following initiation of anticoagulation, the mean medical costs for patients initiated on dabigatran were significantly lower than for patients initiated on warfarin (-$6299, p < 0.001), largely due to fewer hospitalizations (-0.162, p = 0.009). While pharmacy costs were higher ($4369, p < 0.001) for dabigatran, overall healthcare costs were significantly lower compared with patients on warfarin (12 months: -$1940, p < 0.001). Mean hospital length of stay between these two groups were similar (6.033 days for dabigatran vs 6.318 days for warfarin, p = 0.139). CONCLUSION: Despite higher pharmacy costs for NVAF patients initiated on dabigatran vs warfarin, this was more than offset by lower utilization of medical care resources.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Francis, K; Yu, C; Alvrtsyan, H; Sander, S; Ghosh, S; Rao, Y; Sanchez, H; Matchar, D

Published Date

  • December 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2189 - 2195

PubMed ID

  • 26359333

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-4877

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1185/03007995.2015.1092124


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England