Document Type


Publication Date

March 2004


This is the PDF of the article as it appeared in Disease Management, Vol. 7, No. 1: 61-75. ( Deposited by permission; copyright is retained by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


This paper presents the findings of a literature review investigating the economic impact of appropriate pharmaceutical therapy in treating four prevalent chronic conditions - asthma, diabetes, heart failure, and migraine. The goal of the review was to identify high-quality studies examining the extent to which appropriate pharmaceutical therapy impacts overall medical expenditure (direct costs) and workplace productivity (indirect costs). The working hypothesis in conducting the review was that the costs of pharmaceuticals for the selected chronic conditions are offset by savings in direct and indirect costs in other areas. The literature provides evidence that appropriate drug therapy improves the health status and quality of life of individuals with chronic illnesses while reducing costs associated with utilization of emergency room, inpatient, and other medical services. A growing body of evidence also suggests that workers whose chronic conditions are effectively controlled with medications are more productive. For employers, the evidence translates into potential direct and indirect cost savings. The findings also confirm the importance of pharmaceutical management as a cornerstone of disease management.



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