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Costs Spike for Second- and Third-Line ARVs and Late Treatment

September 20, 2013

The National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project has reported on the increase in cost to treat HIV-infected individuals on second- and third-line antretrovirals (ARVs). Researchers calculated costs after reviewing data from 2007 to 2011 in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database and from the MarketScan Lab Database, which covered 2007 to 2010. The researchers followed 9,931 individuals in the first group, whose treatment moved from first- to third-line therapy, and 486 individuals on ARVs in the second group who provided data on CD4 counts.

The researchers adjusted for factors such as AIDS diagnosis, sex, age, region of the country, and type of health insurance. Results showed that the average cost for total care of HIV-infected individuals on first-line therapy was $28,861, cost for second-line therapy was $35,805, and for third-line, $40,804. Also, the average cost to treat a patient who started treatment with more than 350 CD4 cells was $2,526 per month. Treatment for individuals who started with 100-350 CD4 cells was $2,378 per month, and for individuals with fewer than 100 CD4 cells, the price increased to $4,860 per month.

The full report, "Burden of Illness in a U.S. Commercially Insured HIV Population: Treatment Patterns and Costs," was presented at the 53rd ICAAC Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 10-13, 2013, Denver. Abstract H-662.

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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