Chronic pain treatment imposes a substantial economic burden on US society. Treatment costs may vary across subgroups of patients with different types of pain. The aim of our study was to compare healthcare costs (HC) and resource utilization in musculoskeletal (MP), neuropathic (NP), and cancer pain (CaP) patients treated with long-acting opioids (LAO), using real-world evidence.
We compared total HC and resource utilization in subgroups of chronic pain patients (MP, NP or CaP) treated with three LAO alternatives: morphine-sulfate extended-release (MsER), oxycodone ER (OxnER) and tapentadol ER (TapER). Retrospective claims data were analyzed in the IBM Truven Health MarketScan ® Commercial Claims Database (October 2012 through March 2016). All patients were continuously health plan enrolled for at least 12 months before the index date (ﬁrst LAO prescription date) and during the LAO-treatment period. The cohorts were propensity-score matched.
A total of 2824 TapER-treated patients were matched to 16,716 OxnER-treated patients, while 2827 TapER patients were matched to 16,817 MsER patients. The average monthly total HC were lower in the TapER than in the OxnER cohort ($2510 vs. $3720, p<0.001), reﬂecting significantly lower outpatient, inpatient and emergency department visit rates in the TapER cohort. Similarly, the TapER cohort exhibited a lower average monthly total HC ($2520 vs. $2900, p<0.05) than MsER cohort, with signiﬁcantly fewer inpatient and outpatient visits in the TapER cohort. TapER demonstrated signiﬁcantly lower total HC than OxnER in patients with NP and MP, and similar to OxnER in CaP patients. TapER costs were similar to MsER costs in all pain-type subpopulations.