Here Is How You Can Save Money By Following Doctor’s Orders

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • A new study reveals that patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who receive proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs require fewer health care services and incur lower costs if they conform to the recommended usage of the drug.


    While these findings may seem more like common sense than research outcomes, I think this study reinforces two important points. The first is that your personal medical costs must be understood in both a short-term and long-term perspective. The second point is that PPI drugs must be taken consistently to make a difference.


    In terms of the first point, the researchers of this study found that although patients compliant with PPIs had higher drug costs, they had fewer hospital admissions and outpatient visits. This translated into a savings of approximately $855 per year for patients who were compliant with their PPI prescriptions.

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    The study results also demonstrate how important it is from a health-perspective to take reflux drugs as directed. This particular study examined the effectiveness of PPIs such as omeprazole, also known as Prilosec. Patients who were compliant with the prescriptive use of their medications, had lower overall medical costs, and better health, as compared to those who did not take the medication as directed. A recent SharePost provided several reasons why these findings should not come as a surprise.


    This particular study was funded by AstraZeneca, a maker of reflux medication. The fact that a drug manufacturer was behind the study doesn't necessarily mean the findings are not scientifically sound. Research is always funded by someone who has an interest in the outcomes. For this study, the insurance claims from over 40,000 adults were analyzed, and the findings have already been accepted as a future journal article in Value in Health.


Published On: August 13, 2008