A recent study published in JAMA Network Open has found that the usage of novel hormonal therapy (NHT) for Medicare beneficiaries with advanced prostate cancer (PCa) varies significantly based on race. The study, conaducted by Ting Martin Ma, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, aimed to explore racial and ethnic disparities in the utilization of NHT among men diagnosed with de novo advanced PCa with Medicare Part A, B, and D coverage between 2011 and 2017.
The cohort study included a total of 3,748 men, with 8 percent being Black, 7 percent being Hispanic, 78 percent being White, and the remaining 7 percent representing other races and ethnicities. The findings revealed that 36 percent of the patients received at least one administration of NHT. However, there were notable differences in utilization rates based on race.
White patients had the highest two-year NHT utilization rate, followed by Hispanic patients, patients with other races and ethnicities, and finally Black patients, with rates of 27 percent, 25 percent, 23 percent, and 20 percent, respectively. The study also found that Black patients had significantly lower use of NHT compared to White patients, a disparity that persisted at the five-year mark and beyond, where utilization rates were 37 percent for Black patients and 44 percent for White patients.
Furthermore, the differences in NHT utilization between White and Hispanic patients, as well as those with other races or ethnicities, were not statistically significant. However, among patients with distant metastatic (M1) disease, the lower utilization trend among Black patients persisted, with rates of 51 percent versus 55 percent at the five-year mark. The study also discovered that even after adjusting for patient, disease, and sociodemographic factors, Black patients were significantly less likely to initiate NHT compared to White patients.
The authors of the study emphasize the need for future research to uncover the underlying causes of these disparities and develop systematic measures to address the issues for more equitable care. They highlight the importance of promoting equal access to novel hormonal therapy for all patients, regardless of race, in order to improve outcomes and bridge the gap in healthcare disparities.
It is worth noting that several authors involved in the study disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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