Treatment Patterns, Health Care Resource Utilization, and Health Care Cost Associated with Atypical Antipsychotics or Guanfacine Extended Release in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Quebec, Canada.
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2019 Aug 21;:
Authors: Lachaine J, Ben Amor L, Pringsheim T, Burns J, van Stralen J
Objective: To assess treatment patterns, health care resource utilization, and health care costs associated with use of atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) or the nonstimulant guanfacine extended release (GXR) after stimulant therapy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In Canada, GXR is approved as a monotherapy for children and adolescents with ADHD or as an adjunct to stimulants, and AAPs are commonly used off-label as an adjunct to stimulants. Methods: Health care claims data (January 1, 2007 to March 31, 2016) from Quebec’s provincial health plan were assessed for individuals with ADHD, 6-17 years of age, who received ≥1 stimulant followed by a first AAP or GXR prescription (index medication), without a diagnosis for which AAPs are indicated. Results: Overall, 1327 individuals were included (AAPs, 1098; GXR, 229). Rates of discontinuation, augmentation, or switching of the index medication did not differ between AAPs and GXR during the first follow-up year. Discontinuation rates were significantly lower with GXR than with AAPs during the second year (22.0% vs. 35.9%; p = 0.03). GXR and AAPs resulted in similar increases in total health care cost. In GXR users, the increase in prescription drug cost after 6 months was higher than in AAP users, whereas the increase in overall medical cost was higher with AAPs than GXR, owing to more psychiatric department visits. Conclusions: In children and adolescents with ADHD who used AAPs or GXR after stimulants, secondary treatment changes were similar with both treatments after 1 year, but discontinuation rates were significantly lower with GXR than with AAPs in the second year. The greater increase in prescription cost with GXR was balanced by a greater increase in overall medical costs with AAPs, resulting in no overall difference in total health care cost between the two treatments.
PMID: 31433205 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]