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VBCR - October 2015, Volume 4, No 5 - Value Propositions

More than 90% of people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are women between the ages of 15 and 54 years—encompassing common childbearing years. Active disease results in higher risk for complications during pregnancy, yet researchers found that the use of medical treatment was not well characterized among this group of patients.

Using retrospective analyses of the Truven Health MarketScan database (2006-2012), researchers led by Michelle A. Petri, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins, worked to quantify drug and hospital resource use and the incidence of complications among pregnant women with SLE.

Not surprisingly, women with SLE experienced more complications during pregnancy compared with women who did not have SLE. However, among these patients, visits to a rheumatologist and treatment with immunosuppressants declined. Overall treatment costs were higher for pregnant women with SLE than for controls, yet compared with women with SLE who were not pregnant, medication costs were lower.

Analyses of this database confirmed the increased risk of complications and decreased use of immunosuppressants among pregnant women with SLE. This finding suggests that physicians should provide additional guidance to these patients. Among the conclusions drawn from this study, the need for greater team-based patient care between OB/GYN physicians and rheumatologists was emphasized. Petri M, et al. J Med Econ. 2015:1-7. Published online August 21, 2015.

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Last modified: October 29, 2015
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