This study aimed to characterize chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-infected patients and estimate the association between nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) persistence and economic outcomes using data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) database.
Patients (at least 18 years of age) with two or more claims for CHB and at least one pharmacy claim for NA were identified using VHA data from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2018. The index date was the first NA prescription fill date during 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2017. Persistence and non-persistence to NA treatment were assessed during the first 2 years post index date. Non-persistence was defined as at least one failure to refill medication within 30 days from the run-out date. Generalized linear models were used to compare health care utilization and costs between persistent and non-persistent patients.
Among patients treated with NAs (N = 2368), 1428 (60%) were CHB mono-infected and 748 (32%) were HIV co-infected. Total costs per patient per year (PPPY) were $39,240, $29,957, and $55,220 PPPY for NA-treated, mono-infected, and HIV co-infected patients, respectively. An inception cohort of 564 patients (24%), without a NA prescription in the 6 months pre-index period and at least 2 years of follow-up, was created. Persistence among the inception cohort was 29% for first year and 14% for first 2 years. After adjustment for baseline differences, persistent patients had lower cumulative overall health care costs compared to non-persistent patients, with a net cost saving of $851 (p > 0.05) in the first 2 years.
CHB is associated with considerable economic burden. We observed suboptimal persistence to NAs which decreased over time. Short-term savings could be generated for CHB-infected patients when they remain persistent to NAs.