Economic Model Reveals Best Therapies
A joint study from UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Systemfound that the combination of a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and anacid-lowering drug is both cost-effective and treatment-effective. The study team compared 3 therapiesfor treating arthritis: (1) an NSAID, such as ibuprofen or naproxen; (2) an NSAID with anacid-reducer (proton pump inhibitor; PPI), such as lansoprazole (Prevacid) or esomeprazole magnesium(Nexium); and (3) a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, such as rofecoxib (Vioxx) orcelecoxib (Celebrex).
The results showed that, for high-risk patients, an OTC NSAID used with a PPI was the safestand most cost-effective treatment. Study author Dr. Brennan Spiegel, codirector of the Center forthe Study of Digestive Healthcare Quality and Outcomes, remarked, "COX-2 inhibitors were nota health economic bargain at all-especially given the added costs of more heart attacks."