A Comparison of U.S. Individual and Family Plan Medication Coverage for Overactive Bladder.

There is strong evidence for long-term cognitive effects with anticholinergic use. Differences in insurance coverage of anticholinergics and beta-3 agonists hinder individualization of overactive bladder (OAB) treatment.

The aims of the study were to assess individual and family health insurance plan coverage for select OAB medications and to compare coverage of preferred medications to those with a greater risk of cognitive dysfunction.

This cross-sectional study analyzed formularies for the top 7 U.S. medical insurers. Coverage tiers were assessed for the following 7 OAB medications: (1) oxybutynin instant-release 5 mg, (2) oxybutynin extended-release 5 mg, (3) solifenacin 5 mg, (4) trospium instant-release 20 mg, (5) trospium extended-release 60 mg, (6) mirabegron 25 mg, and (7) vibegron 75 mg. Coverage was compared between nonpreferred (oxybutynin, solifenacin) and preferred medications (trospium, mirabegron, vibegron). Coverage scores, representing a weighted average based on coverage tier frequency relative to the number of plans investigated for each state or insurer, were generated with a lower coverage score indicating better coverage (range, 0.2-1.0).

A total of 2,780 insurance plans from 41 states representing a 47% market share for the individual and family marketplace were evaluated. Oxybutynin IR had the best coverage score across insurers (0.2) while vibegron had the worst (0.92). Preferred medications were more often designated to higher tiers with worse coverage compared with nonpreferred medications (P < 0.001). Less concordance in coverage between insurers was noted for anticholinergics with greater bladder specificity and for extended-release formulations.

Despite risks with anticholinergics, beta-3 agonists were more expensive across all insurers highlighting the need for expanded coverage of preferred medications to avoid cognitive dysfunction when undergoing treatment for OAB.

Urogynecology (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2024 Mar 01 [Epub]

Neha G Gaddam, Megan B Wallace, Alexis A Dieter

From the MedStar Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University., Georgetown University School of Medicine., MedStar National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery, Washington, DC.