The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of sacubitril/valsartan in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in July 2015. We aimed to assess the adoption and prescription drug costs of sacubitril/valsartan in its first 18 months after Food and Drug Administration approval.Methods and Results:
Using a large US insurance database, we identified privately insured and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries who filled a first prescription for sacubitril/valsartan between July 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016. We compared them to patients treated with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker. Outcomes included adoption, prescription drug costs, and 180-day adherence, defined as a proportion of days covered ≥80%. A total of 2244 patients initiated sacubitril/valsartan. Although the number of users increased over time, the proportion of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction patients taking sacubitril/valsartan remained low (<3%). Patients prescribed sacubitril/valsartan were younger, more often male, with less comorbidity than those taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker. Although a majority of prescription costs were covered by the health plan (mean, $328.37; median, $362.44 per 30-day prescription), out-of-pocket costs were still high (mean, $71.16; median, $40.27). By comparison, median out-of-pocket costs were $2 to $3 for lisinopril, losartan, carvedilol, and spironolactone. Overall, 59.1% of patients were adherent to sacubitril/valsartan. Refill patterns suggested that nearly half of nonadherent patients discontinued sacubitril/valsartan within 180 days of starting.Conclusions:
Adoption of sacubitril/valsartan after Food and Drug Administration approval has been slow and may be associated with the high cost.