AREAS COVERED: A review of articles that evaluated the cost of prescribing conventional (e.g. vitamin K antagonists) and NOACs (e.g. direct thrombin inhibitors and direct factor Xa inhibitors) in older adults.
EXPERT COMMENTARY: While the use of NOACs significantly increases the cost of the initial treatment for thromboembolic disorders, they are still considered cost-effective relative to warfarin since they offer reduced risk of intracranial haemorrhagic events. The optimum anticoagulation with warfarin can be achieved by providing specialised care; clinics managed by pharmacists have been shown to be cost-effective relative to usual care. There are suggestions that genotyping the CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genes is useful for determining a more appropriate initial dose and thereby increasing the effectiveness and safety of warfarin.
METHOD: Assessment of utilization (items dispensed) and expenditure of key LLAs (mainly statins) between 2001 and 2015 in Scotland alongside initiatives.
RESULTS: Multiple interventions over the years have increased international nonproprietary name prescribing (99% for statins) and preferential prescribing of generic versus patented statins, and reduced inappropriate prescribing of ezetimibe. This resulted in a 50% reduction in expenditure of LLAs between 2001 and 2015 despite a 412% increase in utilization, increased prescribing of higher dose statins (71% in 2015) especially atorvastatin following generic availability, and reduced prescribing of ezetimibe (reduced by 72% between 2010 and 2015). As a result, the quality of prescribing has improved.
CONCLUSION: Generic availability coupled with multiple measures has resulted in appreciable shifts in statin prescribing behavior and reduced ezetimibe prescribing, resulting in improvements in both the quality and efficiency of prescribing.