Changing physician prescribing behavior: A low-cost administrative policy that reduced the use of brand name nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Montie L. Weisenberger, Annette M. Bernard, Sally E. McNagny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. In the United States, expenditures for prescription drugs are rapidly rising. There is concern that physicians do not prescribe medications in the most cost-saving manner. The objective of this study was to determine if a low-cost administrative intervention would decrease the use of brand name nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (bnNSAIDs). Methods. A before-after trial of an administrative intervention to change prescribing behavior at an urban public hospital and its satellite clinics was performed. We evaluated all filled NSAID prescriptions, a total of 127,925, over an 8.5- month period before and after the intervention. The intervention requested physicians to complete a short form listing two generic name nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (gnNSAIDs) that the patient had already tried if they wished to prescribe a bnNSAID. Results. During the 8.5 months before any intervention, 10.5% of 65,404 NSAID prescriptions were written as brand name prescriptions. For the 8.5 months during the intervention, physicians wrote 62,521 NSAID prescriptions, of which 6.9% (4,322/62,521) were brand name. This represents a 34% decrease in bnNSAID prescriptions (P < 0.0001). Using the average pharmacy acquisition costs for bnNSAIDs and gnNSAIDs, as well as the percentage of decrease in bnNSAID use, we calculated the cost savings to the institution to be $92,914 for the 8.5 months, or a projected annualized savings of $131,172. The decline in bnNSAID prescriptions was site specific; settings in which house staff were supervised by attending physicians had a greater decline when compared to community-based primary care physicians (P < 0.05). Conclusion. A low-cost administrative intervention can have a significant impact on physicians' prescribing habits of NSAIDs and result in cost savings to the institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • NSAIDs
  • administrative interventions
  • drug costs
  • physician behavior
  • practice patterns
  • prescribing patterns

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Changing physician prescribing behavior: A low-cost administrative policy that reduced the use of brand name nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this