Pharmacoeconomic and associated cost savings among women who were prescribed systemic conjugated estrogens therapy compared with those without menopausal therapy

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To explore changes in healthcare costs among postmenopausal women in a commercial population who were prescribed conjugated estrogens for menopausal symptoms.


Using the MarketScan dataset from April 1, 2008 through September 30, 2012, postmenopausal women aged ≥45 years, who were prescribed conjugated estrogen tablets (Premarin), were identified. A comparative cohort of postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms without any menopause therapy was also identified. Women included were required to have continuous medical and pharmacy benefits for 6 months before and 12 months after index date, with baseline characteristics compared using chi-square and t tests. The 6 and 12-month change (difference in follow-up and baseline costs) in direct healthcare costs was calculated and a difference-in-differences model was used to compare the incremental change at 6 and 12 months in healthcare costs between the cohorts, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.


The study included 1,404 women who were prescribed conjugated estrogens, and 3,096 untreated women. Women prescribed conjugated estrogens were significantly younger (52 vs 54 years; P < 0.0001) and had a lower Charlson comorbidity index score (0.29 vs 0.41; P < 0.001) compared with the untreated women. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, women treated with conjugated estrogens showed a greater difference in the change in total healthcare costs (−$1,601 vs −$503; P = 0.044), including inpatient stay costs (−$1,431 vs −$28; P < 0.0001), between the baseline and follow-up periods compared with untreated women.


Women who were prescribed oral conjugated estrogens had a significantly greater reduction in healthcare costs after treatment initiation compared with untreated postmenopausal women.

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