Variation in coverage seen by program, drug, and cardiovascular disease condition
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For six cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) examined, coverage of evidence-based medications varies by low-cost generic program (LCGP), drug, and condition, according to a study published online Sept. 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Ivy T. Ton, Pharm.D., from the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and colleagues examined LCGPs’ coverage of evidence-based CVD medications in a cross-sectional study of 19 publicly available LCGPs in March and April 2023 in the United States. The proportion of LCGPs that offered evidence-based CVD medicines for six CVDs was examined according to four metrics (breadth, choice, high-quality evidence, and titratability).
The researchers found variation in the availability of CVD medication by program, drug, and CVD condition. Some of the programs had greater breadth and choice of coverage for most CVDs, while many had more focused coverage, and limited offerings were provided by others. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, Î²-blockers, thiazides, and moderate-intensity statins were offered by nearly all LCGPs, while lower availability was seen for higher-cost or lower-use generics, including antiplatelets and antiarrhythmics. For atrial fibrillation and heart failure, core pharmacotherapy coverage and choices were limited, while for hypertension and hyperlipidemia, they were widely available.
“Medication coverage in LCGPs varies widely for core, evidence-based CVD medications in all CVD conditions investigated, with differences in medication coverage options and strengths by program and condition,” the authors write. “Health care professionals should consider medication availability and LCGP-specific characteristics when recommending their use.”
One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry and one to the medical device industry.
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