Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oral naltrexone can reduce health care costs, study finds

Date:
April 5, 2010
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Alcohol-use disorders (AUDs), referring to both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, affect nearly 8.5 percent of the American population, are associated with numerous medical, psychiatric, family, legal and work-related problems, and cost an estimated $185 billion in 1998. A new study has found that oral naltrexone can reduce both alcohol- and non-alcohol-related health care costs for patients with AUDs.

Alcohol-use disorders (AUDs), referring to both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, affect nearly 8.5 percent of the American population, are associated with numerous medical, psychiatric, family, legal, and work-related problems, and cost an estimated $185 billion in 1998. A new study has found that oral naltrexone can reduce both alcohol- and non-alcohol-related healthcare costs for patients with AUDs.

Results will be published in the June 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

"Oral naltrexone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1994," explained Henry R. Kranzler, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center and corresponding author for the study. "It was the first medication approved to treat alcohol dependence since disulfiram was approved in 1949, and its approval was based on a demonstration of efficacy using a randomized, controlled trial design. The FDA has since approved acamprosate and long-acting naltrexone." Kranzler believes that oral naltrexone is covered by most health plans as a generic drug.

For this study, Kranzler and his colleagues used data from the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database for 2000 to 2004 to create three groups: a naltrexone group (n=1,138) with an alcohol-related diagnosis and at least one pharmacy claim for oral naltrexone; an alcohol control group (n=3,411) with an alcohol-related diagnosis but no prescription for alcoholism-treatment medication; and a non-alcohol control group (n=3,410) with no alcohol-related diagnosis and no prescription for alcoholism-treatment medication. The two groups with an alcohol-related diagnosis were matched to each other on a variety of demographic and clinical dimensions. Healthcare expenditures were calculated for the six-month periods before and after naltrexone drug claims, and dates were matched for the two control groups.

"We found that, prior to the start of the study period, individuals treated with naltrexone had higher healthcare costs than the group with an alcohol-related diagnosis but no naltrexone treatment," said Kranzler. "However, during the period after receiving the medication, the naltrexone group showed a significantly smaller increase in healthcare expenditures (both alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related) than the group with an alcohol-related diagnosis but no naltrexone treatment." In other words, oral naltrexone seemed to reduce healthcare costs for patients with an alcohol-related diagnosis.

Kranzler said these findings have implications for two groups. "I think that the greatest applications of these results are for healthcare policy makers, treatment-program managers, insurance companies, and health-benefits managers," he said. "They also show researchers that developments in treatment can pay dividends in cost savings."

Furthermore, he added, this study shows there is a common ground between effective treatment measures and cost-savings. "As a physician, I am interested in all treatments that can alleviate suffering and improve people's lives, however, I am also cognizant of the need to contain healthcare costs. This study suggests that an alcoholism treatment medication can help to contain healthcare costs and that wider consideration of the economic value of such approaches is warranted."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Henry R. Kranzler, Leslie B. Montejano, Judith J. Stephenson, Shaohung Wang, David R. Gastfriend. Effects of Naltrexone Treatment for Alcohol-Related Disorders on Healthcare Costs in an Insured Population. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01185.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Oral naltrexone can reduce health care costs, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174938.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2010, April 5). Oral naltrexone can reduce health care costs, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174938.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Oral naltrexone can reduce health care costs, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174938.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins