Background: This study examines the effect of weight loss following laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) for morbid obesity on prescription drug costs in patients over the age of 54.
Methods: 78 patients aged 55 to 75 who met the inclusion criteria were identified in a database of 1,060 morbidly obese patients undergoing LRYGBP between March 2001 and March 2003. All prescription drugs and dosages were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 months, 1 year, and yearly thereafter. Drug history was obtained from the patient and verified by records from referring physicians' offices. The cost of a 30-day supply of each drug was obtained from 3 retail sources and averaged.
Results: The average pre-LRYGBP cost of prescription drugs was $368.65 per month per patient. The average annualized cost at 6 months after LRYGBP was $119.10 per month (down 68%), at 1 year $118.67 (down 68%) and at 2 years $104.68 per month (down 72%).
Conclusions: Weight loss resulting from LRYGBP significantly reduces obesity-related morbidities, resulting in a substantial reduction in medication needs in patients over the age of 54. The projected cost savings realized in the 78 patients in this study amounts to approximately $240,566.04 annually.