Analytics help Memorial Hermann study drug adverse events costs

Memorial Hermann healthcare system is using analytics to discern the true cost of adverse events related to specific drugs, according to Patti Romeril, system director of clinical pharmacy.

The southeast Texas organization predicts that payers, including Medicare, in the future will require provider formularies to demonstrate a systematic review of side effects--including what that data mean in terms of costs, safety and outcomes--from a broad patient population, not just an individual organization's internal tracking, says Romeril, writing an article for Hospitals & Health Networks.

And because only 10 percent of adverse drug events are estimated to be reported in the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's Adverse Events Reporting System, she says, Memorial Hermann set out to use algorithms to learn about adverse events beyond clinical trials and FDA alerts.

The health system evaluated the current system of adverse event reporting and applied sophisticated analytics to reporting of post-marketing side effects.

Its initial study focused on the true cost to the hospital system of new anticoagulants Eliquis (apixaban), Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Pradaxa (dabigatran). It found that Eliquis offers significant annual downstream cost savings over both Pradaxa and Xarelto when adverse events are factored into their true cost: an estimated savings of nearly $20 million by switching Pradaxa prescriptions to Eliquis and savings of nearly $12 million by switching from Xarelto.

The FDA has teamed up with online patient network PatientsLikeMe on a project to use patient-reported data in real-time to gain insight into consumers' experiences with certain drugs, such as adherence, tolerance and quality of life.

In addition, a new round of project funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will focus on providing strategies and tools for improving patient safety in ambulatory care and long-term care facilities, situations in which patients receive care through multiple settings and providers, which may contribute to the challenges in ensuring patient safety.

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