Bariatric surgery: Shedding the monetary weight of prescription costs in the managed care arena

Chad E. Potteiger, Prakash R. Paragi, Nicholas A. Inverso, Christopher Still, Mary Jane Reed, William Strodel, Marc Rogers, Anthony Petrick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Prescription costs for treatment of co-morbidities associated with morbid obesity is a considerable annual health-care expenditure. This study addressed the effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) on diabetic and anti-hypertensive pharmaceutical utilization and cost savings at our institution. Methods: Retrospective data from the electronic database of 51 consecutive patients, who underwent RYGBP from March 2001 to May 2002 were studied. Patients had BMI >40 associated with obesity-related diabetes and hypertension. Prescription medications utilized by this cohort were reviewed preoperatively and at 3- and 9-month intervals postoperatively. Significance was analyzed by paired t-test. Results: Prevalence of diabetes and hypertension was 55.7% (29/53) and 44.3% (24/53) respectively, and 34% (18/53) patients had both co-morbidities. Preoperativeiy, patients were on an average of 2.44 ± 1.86 medications at a cost of $187.24 ± $237.41 per month. Postoperatively, the mean number of medications was reduced to 0.56 ± 0.81 agents (P<0.001) at a monthly cost of $42.53 ± 116.60 (P<0.001). Conclusions: RYGBP can decrease the prescription medication requirements, resulting in significant cost-savings in the treatment of obesity-related hypertension and diabetes. This study found a 77.3% reduction in total cost of diabetic and anti-hypertensive medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-730
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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