Background: Opioids are commonly used to manage chronic pain. Although traditional μ-opioids are effective in reducing pain, they are often associated with opioid-induced side effects (OISEs) that can limit treatment effectiveness. Studies have shown that tapentadol extended release (ER) has a lower incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events than oxycodone controlled release (CR) at equianalgesic doses. Objective: A model was developed to estimate the budget impact of placing tapentadol ER on a hypothetical US health plan formulary of Schedule II long-acting opioids. Methods: We estimated annual direct health care costs for patients who received 6-month therapy with long-acting formulations of tapentadol, oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, or fentanyl. Costs included medications, copayments, OISE management, and switching/discontinuation. Published estimates of incidence/prevalence, OISEs, and pain management resources and costs were used. The base case analysis assumed a 10% formulary share of tapentadol ER with a 10% decrease of oxycodone CR. The resulting per-member per-month (PMPM) formulary cost differences and results of a 1-way sensitivity analysis are reported. Results: In a health plan of 500,000 members, 2600 (0.52%) are estimated to experience chronic pain annually. Adding tapentadol ER to the formulary was associated with an annual budget savings of $148,945 ($0.0248 PMPM). This savings was achieved through a decrease in both pharmacy costs ($144,062; $0.0240 PMPM) and medical costs ($4883; $0.0008 PMPM). Cost decreases were driven by lower daily average consumption and fewer OISEs with tapentadol ER versus oxycodone CR, leading to reduced resource utilization over 6 months of treatment. Sensitivity analyses showed results were most sensitive to drug acquisition costs. Conclusions: Our results suggest that replacing 10% of oxycodone CR's formulary share with tapentadol ER would decrease the overall budget of a health plan with 500,000 members. Placing tapentadol ER on a health plan formulary may result in a reduction in both pharmacy and medical costs. © 2013 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc.
Merchant, S., Noe, L. L., Howe, A., Duff, S., Gricar, J., Ogden, K., & Mody, S. H. (2013). Budget impact analysis of tapentadol extended release for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic noncancer pain. Clinical Therapeutics, 35(5), 659–672. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2013.03.016