In the study, the costs for diagnosing FMMA were estimated to be $128.74 per patient. The total first year costs for diagnosing, treating and managing FMMA range from $410 for insulin resistance to $7,368 for abnormal fat distribution at the back of the neck (a condition sometimes called "buffalo hump"). The second year costs of treating and monitoring each patient range from $115 to $3,895 depending on the symptom being treated.
Treatment algorithms used in the pharmacoeconomic modeling study were developed based on input from the expert panel. Unit costs (reported in 1999 dollars) were obtained for health care resources used to diagnose, treat and monitor HIV patients with FMMA. These included medical procedures, medications, outpatient visits and hospitalizations. Cost estimates for health care resources were based on an extended version of the Medicare Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes of the American Medical Association and reflect current treatment patterns. Medication costs were obtained from the Red Book, which lists the average wholesale prices for medications available in the U.S.
"The benefits of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) have been documented in the literature. HIV patients are experiencing the benefits of therapy with HIV treatments such as protease inhibitors but are also beginning to experience signs and symptoms of FMMA. Thus as patients continue to experience these signs and symptoms, the evaluation of risk factors for the long-term complications may become an essential component of HIV drug therapy selection," said Jacqueline Carranza Rosenzweig, a medical affairs scientist with Glaxo Wellcome.