Study Published In Contraception Evaluates Medical Expenditures For Unintended Pregnancies And Potential Cost Impact Of Increased Use Of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception
WAYNE, N.J., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that a new study published in the journal Contraception shows that if 10 percent of women in their twenties — the age group associated with the highest number of unintended pregnancies annually in the U.S.(1) — changed from oral contraception to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as the implant, intrauterine device (IUD) and hormonal intrauterine system (IUS), an estimated $288 million would be saved each year in third-party payer medical costs.(1)
“Popular methods of contraception are effective with correct and consistent use, but strict adherence to a birth control regimen is a challenge for many people,” said study researcher James Trussell, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and Faculty Associate of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. “Greater use of LARC would lower the costs of unintended pregnancies in the U.S.”
LARC is the most effective type of reversible birth control available and does not depend on daily adherence.(1) Short-acting reversible contraception (SARC) includes the oral contraceptive pill (OC), male condom, patch, injectables and vaginal ring. Inconsistent or incorrect use of birth control accounts for nearly half of the three million unplanned pregnancies( )that occur each year in the U.S., and for a majority of the estimated $4.6 billion in related annual medical expenditures.(1)
The economic model utilized in the study estimated cost savings that might be generated by a subset of women aged 20-29 changing to LARC from other contraceptive methods, as this age group currently accounts for 53 percent (1.67 million) of unintended pregnancies every year.(1) Three scenarios of switching were explored, all of which generated cost savings with higher LARC usage. Researchers found that the largest savings ($436 million) could be achieved when 10 percent of this population currently using either no birth control or any SARC methods changed to LARC.(1)
A non-annualized cost analysis found that when women in the 20-29-year age group changed from non-LARC to LARC methods, it resulted in net cost increases due to the high upfront costs of LARC methods. A cost-neutrality analysis found that among women currently using any SARC, assuming a 10 percent change to LARC, cost neutrality is achieved after 1.62 years (aged 20-24) and 1.82 years (aged 25-29).(1)
“The results of this analysis underline the substantial and potentially avoidable costs of unintended pregnancies, particularly among young women,” said Fareen Hassan, HEOR Consultant at IMS Health and one of the study’s authors. “Medicare prices were used to calculate costs in the study, which are likely lower than those of private insurers, and the long-term health and economic costs of unintended pregnancies were not considered.”
About the Study
An economic model was constructed to estimate direct costs of unintended pregnancies to third-party payers as well as the proportion of costs that could be attributed to imperfect contraceptive adherence. The model considered all U.S. women requiring reversible contraception: those aged 15-44 years who are sexually active and of child-bearing age but who currently neither seek pregnancy nor wish to be permanently sterilized. The pattern of contraceptive use and rates of unintended pregnancy were derived from published sources.(1)
The analysis represented an average one year period of use, to allow comparability between reversible methods that are short-acting (SARC) and long-acting (LARC).(1) Costs associated with unintended pregnancy outcomes in the U.S. within the inpatient, outpatient and non-hospital settings were obtained from the Medicare Fee Schedule 2011, and a weighted average cost for each outcome derived; the cost of each event was multiplied by the annual number of events to generate an estimate of total unintended pregnancy costs.(1)
In addition to no method, 10 reversible contraceptive methods were considered in the analysis. SARC included the oral contraceptive pill (OC), male condom, patch, injectables and vaginal ring. LARC included implant, intrauterine device (IUD) and hormonal intrauterine system (IUS). Other methods were withdrawal and periodic abstinence. Permanent contraceptive methods were not considered.(1 )The study was conducted by IMS Health and was funded by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Women should talk with their healthcare providers about which contraceptive method is appropriate for them.
About IMS Health
IMS Health is a leading provider of information, services and technology for the healthcare industry around the world. The company draws on its global technology infrastructure and unique combination of in-depth, sophisticated analytics, on-shore and off-shore commercial services, and software platforms to help clients better understand the performance and dynamics of healthcare systems. With a presence in 100+ countries and more than 55 years of industry experience, IMS serves leading decision makers in healthcare, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, providers, payers, government agencies, policymakers, researchers and the financial community. Additional information is available at www.imshealth.com.
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals provides products for Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Hematology, Neurology, Oncology and Women’s Healthcare. The company’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
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(1) J. Trussell et al. / Contraception – 10 September 2012
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SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.