Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare vasculopathy progressively leading to right heart failure and death, is associated with considerable economic burden. Oral prostacyclin pathway agents (PPAs) like selexipag and treprostinil address an underlying PAH pathway, yet are often under-utilized. Data on head-to-head cost comparison of various PPAs is lacking.
Methods: In this retrospective study using a large health claims database, we compared the per-patient-per-year (PPPY) costs and healthcare resource utilization (HRU) among PAH patients taking either oral selexipag, inhaled treprostinil or oral treprostinil in the United States between July 2015 and March 2020. Patients with ≥1 prescription for one of the drugs of interest, ≥1 in-patient pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosis, or ≥ 2 outpatient PH diagnoses were included in this study. Baseline differences between the three groups were adjusted using an inverse probability of treatment weighting approach. 411 patients were selected for the final study cohorts.
Results: All-cause hospitalization costs were highest for oral treprostinil ($39,983) compared to oral selexipag ($20,635) and inhaled treprostinil ($16,548; p = .037). Total PAH-related medical costs were 40% lower for patients on oral selexipag compared to patients on oral and inhaled treprostinil ($24,351 vs. $40,398 and $40,339, respectively; p = .006). PAH-related outpatient visits were lowest for patients on oral selexipag (14 PPPY visits) compared to oral treprostinil (16 PPPY visits) and inhaled treprostinil (22 PPPY visits; p = .001).
Conclusions: Compared to oral and inhaled treprostinil, oral selexipag may incur lower medical costs and reduce PAH related outpatient visits for patients with PAH.