Assessing Demographics and Clinical Characteristics among Patients Initiated on Anti-Obesity Medications

Despite the high prevalence of overweight/obesity and exorbitant associated health system costs, little is known about the characteristics of patients newly treated with anti-obesity medications (AOMs). A study presented at the AMCP Nexus 2021 meeting sought to examine real-world demographics and clinical characteristics of patients initiated on AOMs.

To conduct this study, the researchers assessed administrative claims of 6,808 U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage enrollees. The population of interest were all 18 years of age and older, initiated on an AOM approved for long-term use between January 2012 and February 2019. Age, sex, and insurance type at index medication fill were described. Obesity-related comorbidities (ORCs) were assessed within the 12 months prior to baseline, during a follow-up period of ≥12 months, and until 36 months follow-up, end of study period, disenrollment, or death.

According to the results, people treated with the AOMs lorcaserin or orlistat tended to be older compared to those taking liraglutide, naltrexone/bupropion, and P-T (median age, 54 years vs. 49–50 years, respectively), and were more likely to have Medicare Advantage (21.7% and 33.7%, vs. 0.1%, 0.0% and 9.5%, respectively). The researchers observed that the most common ORCs were hypertension (47.6%), dyslipidemia (47.4%), back pain (30.5%), type 2 diabetes (19.7%), depression (19.7%), anxiety (19.3%), and sleep apnea (18.6%).

The researchers concluded that this analysis “illustrates that most patients treated with AOMs have ORCs, but those initiated with an older generation AOM often had a high comorbidity profile and were less persistent with medication.”

Source: Swindle J, et al. Demographics and Clinical Characteristics Among Patients Initiated on Anti-Obesity Medications: A Retrospective Study of Administrative Claims. Poster E12.Published for AMCP Nexus 2021; Oct. 18-21, 2021, Denver, CO.