A study published in the American Academy of Neurology recently has stated that in the last one decade, brand-name epilepsy drug prices have increased by 277 percent. While compiling the statistics the experts compiled the data from Medicare patients between 2008 and 2018. Although brand-name epilepsy medication costs more than doubled, generic drug costs decreased by 42 percent.
According to AAN’s press release the brand-name drugs accounted for approximately 14 percent of all epilepsy pills for Medicare patients in the 10-year time frame. That number is juxtaposed with the 79 percent that these medications contribute to drug costs.
“Previous studies have shown that drugs are the most expensive part of neurologic care, and antiseizure drugs were the second-highest category of costs among drugs prescribed by neurologists,” stated study author Samuel Waller Terman, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology in the press release.
A review earlier this year revealed that epilepsy treatment had a global cost of $119.27 billion. Per person, prices ranged from $204 to $11,432 annually and heavily depended on the treatment location.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is already a “treatment gap” in several countries due to limited access to medication. Moreover, around three-quarters of patients with epilepsy in low-to-middle-income countries do not have access to the proper medicines.
With epilepsy affecting 50 million people globally and being the most common neurological disorder, these price increases have had and will continue to have a massive impact on patients worldwide, experts opine.
“While newer generation drugs have potential advantages such as limited drug interactions and different side effect profiles, there have been conflicting studies on whether they are cost-effective,” stated Samuel Waller Terman, MD, MS, in the press release.