A Systematic Review of Pharmacoeconomic Studies for Pregabalin

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Abstract

Background:

With anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and analgesic properties, pregabalin has been evaluated for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia (FM). These chronic conditions diminish patients' quality of life and increase healthcare utilization and costs.

Objective:

To assess the current understanding of economic outcomes associated with pregabalin in neuropathic pain and FM.

Methods:

Using keywords related to economic outcomes and pregabalin, we systematically searched MEDLINE- and EMBASE-indexed literature and nonindexed “grey” literature on neuropathic pain and FM published from March 2001 to October 2012. Included studies reported economic findings associated with pregabalin.

Results:

In the past 11 years, 55 publications assessed the direct costs, resource use, or cost-effectiveness of pregabalin for neuropathic pain and FM. Studies generally lacked comparability due to heterogeneous patient populations, assumptions, time periods, and geographies. In the US, following treatment initiation, pregabalin resulted in similar or higher levels of healthcare use for FM compared with duloxetine. In contrast, medical costs for neuropathic pain did not significantly differ after initiation of pregabalin vs. duloxetine or other standard therapies in the US, but in Spain and Sweden, retrospective database studies suggested that pregabalin was cost-saving vs. gabapentin. Few economic analyses estimated indirect costs.

Conclusions:

Neuropathic pain and FM are associated with high healthcare resource use and costs. Economic studies of pregabalin in neuropathic pain and FM indicate some results favorable to other forms of care, but heterogeneity among study designs and populations hinder comparisons. Future economic analyses should aim to address data gaps regarding effects of pregabalin on productivity and resource use.

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