Author(s): Lage MJ, Barber BL, Harrison DJ, Jun S
OBJECTIVES: To examine the economic burden of skeletal-related events (SREs) and to assess the frequency of different types of SREs in this population. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective claims analysis. METHODS: Data were obtained from i3's Lab Rx Database from May 1, 2000, through March 31, 2005. Patients included had at least 2 claims with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, at least 2 subsequent claims with a diagnosis of bone metastasis, and at least 1 SRE on or after the date of the initial diagnosis of bone metastasis. Descriptive statistics for 342 patients who fit all inclusion and exclusion criteria are provided, along with Kaplan-Meier curves, which were used to estimate annual costs, adjusting for the censoring of the data. RESULTS: Patients most frequently had radiation therapy (89%), followed by pathologic fracture (23%) and bone surgery (12%). Among patients diagnosed as having at least 1 SRE, 78% experienced 1 type of SRE, 17% had 2 types of SREs, and 5% had 3 or more distinct types of SREs. The mean costs associated with SREs in the year after the initial diagnosis of an SRE, adjusted for the censoring of the data, was $12,469, with the highest costs associated with radiation therapy ($5930), followed by pathologic fracture ($3179) and bone surgery ($2218). CONCLUSION: This study of patients with prostate cancer and bone metastases revealed that the annual economic effect of medically treating SREs for these patients was $12,469.