The impact of drug coverage on COX-2 inhibitor use in Medicare.

Health affairs (Project Hope)

PubMedID: 15451967

Doshi JA, Brandt N, Stuart B. The impact of drug coverage on COX-2 inhibitor use in Medicare. Health Aff (Millwood). 2004;Suppl Web ExclusivesW4-94-105.
Passage of the Medicare drug benefit legislation has renewed attention to the relationship between drug coverage and medication use. This study assesses the impact of drug coverage on COX-2 inhibitor use among elderly people with osteoarthritis, taking into account risk for adverse gastrointestinal events. COX-2 use among aged beneficiaries with the most generous coverage was twice that of those with no third-party coverage. COX-2 use also increased with increasing gastrointestinal risk. However, this risk differential in COX-2 use disappears among those with the most generous coverage. Potential overuse of costly medications should be addressed as the Medicare drug benefit is being phased in.