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Lower Costs for Pregabalin in Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

Even after loss of exclusivity, pregabalin has lower health care costs than gabapentin

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THURSDAY, Oct. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP), the adjusted cost per patient is lower for treatment with pregabalin than gabapentin, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Antoni Sicras-Mainar, M.D., from the Papaciet Primary Care Centre in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study with electronic medical records for patients enrolled at primary care centers who initiated PNP treatment with pregabalin or gabapentin. Data were reviewed for 1,163 electronic medical records (764 for pregabalin and 399 for gabapentin).

The researchers found that the duration of treatment was slightly shorter for pregabalin than gabapentin (5.2 versus 5.5 months; P = 0.124), with mean doses of 227.4 mg and 900 mg, respectively. Per patient, the average study drug cost was higher for pregabalin than gabapentin (€214.6 versus €157.4: P < 0.001), although there was a lower cost of concomitant analgesic medication (€176.5 versus €306.7; P < 0.001). Per patient, the adjusted average total cost was lower for pregabalin treatment (€2,413 versus €3,201; P = 0.002) because of significantly lower health care costs and non-health care costs; this was due to lower use of concomitant medications, fewer primary care visits, and fewer days of sick leave.

"After loss of exclusivity of both drugs, pregabalin continued to show lower health care and non-health care costs than gabapentin in the treatment of PNP in routine clinical practice," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Pfizer, the manufacturer of pregabalin.

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