Costs Associated with Productivity Loss Among U.S. Patients Newly Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Receiving Oral Versus Injectable Chemotherapy

David Merola, Candice Yong, Stephen J. Noga, Kenneth M. Shermock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The use of novel drug agents in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) has been associated with improved therapeutic outcomes and survival; however, MM continues to pose a significant economic burden on patients and health care systems. Evaluating economic implications of therapies can provide key points of distinctions between available treatment options. Patients with MM may experience productivity loss, including lost days from work or inability to work due to MM symptoms or to undergoing treatment. Although direct costs of illness have been well described in the literature, indirect costs associated with MM are understudied. OBJECTIVE: To compare the extent of disability benefit use and resultant workplace productivity loss among U.S. adult patients with newly diagnosed MM who received oral versus injectable MM therapy. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters, Medicare Supplemental Coordination of Benefits, and Health and Productivity Management databases (2008-2015). Workplace absenteeism, as measured by disability benefit use, was evaluated 1 year before and 1 year after first MM diagnosis. Patients receiving only oral chemotherapy were compared with those who received injectable therapy. Absenteeism days and associated costs were compared among study groups using multivariable zero-inflated Poisson regression. RESULTS: The final study cohort included 299 patients with newly diagnosed MM, of whom 73 received oral therapy only and 226 received injectable therapy. Treatment type was a significant predictor of disability benefit use. Patients who received injectable therapy missed an average of 110 work days in the 1 year after diagnosis, compared with 87 for patients receiving only oral therapy (difference of 23 days, 95% CI = 19-26, P < 0.001). Treatment type was also a significant predictor of costs associated with lost productivity. Patients who received injectable therapy experienced productivity loss valued at $18,315, compared with patients who only received oral drug therapy ($14,429). The difference between these estimates was statistically significant ($3,886, 95% CI = $3,540-$4,231, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients newly diagnosed with MM face significant losses in productivity. Patients receiving injectable MM therapy use significantly more disability benefits and incur higher productivity costs, compared with those receiving oral MM therapy. Further studies elucidating the nature of the differences between injectable and noninjectable chemotherapy users are needed. DISCLOSURES: This study was funded by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Yong and Noga are employees of Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Merola reports personal fees from Millennium Pharmaceuticals during the time of this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1026
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of managed care & specialty pharmacy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy


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