Side Effects From Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Cost Health Plans $368 Million Per Year, New AIS-Advera Health Book Finds
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) - September 11, 2015 - Washington, DC

Adverse events associated with the leading anti-inflammatory drugs resulted in added costs to payers of $2.2 billion from 2010 to 2014, or an average annual cost of $368 million, according to a groundbreaking new report by Advera Health Analytics, Inc. (fka AdverseEvents, Inc.) and Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS). Using post-market data independent of pharmaceutical manufacturers, The Cost and Impact of Adverse Events: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs computes that the cost of each adverse event associated with these drugs adds an average of 2.44% to the cost of covering anti-inflammatories.

Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, Otezla, Remicade, Simponi and Stelara — the medications examined in The Cost and Impact of Adverse Events: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs — are used to treat patients with conditions such as psoriasis, colitis and arthritis. Drugs in this class accounted for 23.2% of specialty drug spend in 2014, according to Express Scripts’ 2014 Drug Trend Report, and costs rose twice as much as utilization for this class over one year.

For the five costliest side effects identified for each drug, about 24% of those dollars are attributed to unlabeled adverse events — side effects that are not on the product’s warning label and can be discovered only by mining post-market data.

For instance, although staphylococcal infections are not among the most prevalent adverse events, they cost health plans over $50 million from 2010 to 2014, making it the costliest side effect associated with this drug class. Staph infections are one of the five most expensive side effects identified for six of the seven drugs examined in this report. These statistics highlight the need for health plans to tap into new, independent, data sources that are becoming available to bring added clarity to decisions on formulary placement and patient access to drugs.

The findings outlined in The Cost and Impact of Adverse Events: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs provide a valuable new metric for formulary decision-makers and prescribers. The report further describes how adverse events data can be used in management programs and benefit design for improved outcomes and savings. The table below, excerpted from more detailed information in the report, illustrates the impact of the costs of adverse events on payers’ bottom lines.


For more information on The Cost and Impact of Adverse Events: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, including a full table of contents and a sample PDF containing the introduction and methodology, visit

About Advera Health
Advera Health Analytics, Inc. is a California-based healthcare informatics company that improves patient safety and reduces systemic health care costs through the comprehensive analysis of post-marketing drug side-effect data. Utilizing data-mining and analysis technology through its proprietary RxSuite of analytics, Advera Health makes post-marketing drug safety data accessible, actionable and predictable.

Advera Health provides services to enterprise markets including managed care organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and financial institutions, all while keeping the patient as the key stakeholder. For more information, visit

About AIS
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at

Susan Namovicz-Peat, Director, Directories and Databases Division
Atlantic Information Services, Inc.
202-775-9008 ext. 3045

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