2004 08 01 Archive

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

We have finally finished collecting and analyzing the results of our rabeprazole study. As it being submitted for publication, I am unable to post the entire paper. However, I will summarize the results:

We enrolled 26 patients. All patients were Caucasian, 15/26 (58%) were female and 11/26 (42%) were male. The mean age was 68.9 years. Previous PPI therapy being used was omeprazole 20mg 77% (20/26), pantoprazole 11.5% (3/26), and lansoprazole 11.5% (3/26). At our six-month follow-up (minimum of 4 months of rabeprazole therapy), 7 (26.9%) patients had switched back to their original therapy, the majority because they felt the rabeprazole was not as effective as their previous therapy. Annual cost savings to the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan (SPDP) was $5083.86. Combined savings to patients was $4617.31. Our study population was quite small, so it is obvious that when extrapolated to a larger population, the cost savings become quite significant.

With almost three-quarters of our patients being satisfied with the rabeprazole therapy, and the associated cost-savings, we concluded that rabeprazole should be considered the first choice for PPI therapy.

I would like to point out that this study was done independently. Janssen-Ortho, the manufacturer of rabeprazole (Pariet) had no knowledge of our study until it was in the data collection phase, nor have they provided any form of compensation.

The SPDP, on July 1st, 2004 initiated a Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) system. This means that for certain drug classes, where more than one alternative is available, they will only cover up to the cost of the cheapest, effective alternative. Rabeprazole was one of the first drugs to be included in the MAC program. Our study supports the choice made by the SPDP.