Reduction in medication costs for patients with chronic nonmalignant pain completing a pain rehabilitation program: A prospective analysis of admission, discharge, and 6-month follow-up medication costs

Julie L. Cunningham, Jeffrey D. Rome, Jennifer L. Kerkvliet, Cynthia O. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Chronic nonmalignant pain (CNMP) is both a prevalent and a costly health problem in our society. Pain rehabilitation programs have been shown to provide cost-effective treatment. A treatment goal for some rehabilitation programs is reduction in the use of pain-related medication. Medication costs savings from pain rehabilitation programs have not been analyzed in previous studies. Design: This prospective cohort study of 186 patients with CNMP addresses the costs of medications at admission to a 3-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program, at discharge, and at 6-month follow-up. Medication use was determined through a detailed pharmacist interview with patients at admission and discharge. Patients were sent questionnaires 6 months after program completion, which obtained current medication information. Results: Statistically significant medication cost savings were seen for program completers at discharge and at 6-month follow-up (P < 0.05). The mean (standard deviation) daily prescription medication cost reduction from admission to discharge was $9.31 ($12.70) using the average wholesale price of medications. From the original study cohort, 121 patients completed the 6-month follow-up survey. The mean daily prescription medication cost savings from admission to 6-month follow-up was $6.68 ($14.40). Conclusion: Patients benefited from significant medication cost savings at the completion of the 3-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program and maintained significant savings after 6 months. This study adds to the current literature on the economic value of comprehensive pain rehabilitation programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-796
Number of pages10
JournalPain Medicine
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Cost
  • Medication
  • Pain rehabilitation
  • Pharmacist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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