Impact of a prior authorization policy for montelukast on clinical outcomes for asthma and allergic rhinitis among children and adolescents in a state Medicaid program.
BACKGROUND: Public policymakers often struggle with increased membership and limited budgets. Restrictions, commonly in the form of prior authorizations, are often placed on more costly pharmaceuticals, especially when lower cost or more effective products are available. Restrictions placed on products for difficult-to-manage disease states must be reviewed in order to ensure that unintended clinical consequences do not occur. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a prior authorization policy for montelukast on clinical outcomes for asthma and allergic rhinitis among children and adolescent members of Oklahoma Medicaid (MOK) from 2007 through 2010. METHODS: Monthly individual-level utilization data were collected from MOK paid pharmacy and medical claims from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2010, for members with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis. Members who were continuously eligible for the entire 48-month review period were included. The effect of a prior authorization policy for montelukast on emergency room (ER) utilization, disease-related physician office visits (DRV), and antibiotic prescription utilization (ABX) was analyzed using segmented logistic regression. RESULTS: For all 3 outcomes, decreases in mean number of claims per member per month were detected when comparing the pre-implementation and post-implementation prior authorization periods for all 3 disease states of asthma, allergic rhinitis, or both. Odds of having an ER event at the point of prior authorization implementation were 0.71 (P less than 0.001) and were 1.29 (P less than 0.001) and 1.26 (P less than 0.001) for DRV and ABX, respectively. Overall trend in odds was 1.02 (P less than 0.001), 0.93 (P less than 0.001), and 0.95 (P less than 0.001) for ER, DRV, and ABX, but during the post-implementation period, the odds were 0.92 (P less than 0.001) for ER and 1.03 (P less than 0.001) for both DRV and ABX. The final result was an increasing trend prior to implementation for ER, a decrease at implementation, and a continued decrease in odds of an event in the post-implementation period. However, for DRV and ABX, there was an overall decrease in trend regardless of period, with a small increase in odds at the point of implementation. CONCLUSIONS: While there was a point increase at implementation for DRV and ABX, the overall trend remained negative, indicating that no unexpected adverse clinical outcomes occurred. Additionally, no signal was found in ER use after implementation to indicate that unintended consequences occurred, particularly for those patients with asthma.
Keast, SL; Thompson, D; Farmer, K; Smith, M; Nesser, N; Harrison, D
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