impact stories

Health System Reduces Utilization of New Drug Using StrataSphere® Report

July 29, 2022

This organization drove results and impact

Gained physician buy-in using StrataSphere report and insights from over 200,000 patients

Reduced utilization of new, costly drug on new COVID-19 admits by 84%

Avoided over $725,000 from reducing drug utilization in under two months


Hospitals Struggle to Prove Efficacy of Expensive COVID-19 Drug

When it was first introduced, Remdesivir was the only medication approved for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Initial clinical trials and research studies had small sample sizes and mixed results. Across the country, hospitals have questioned the costly drug’s clinical efficacy with limited access to data that could tell the true story.

When this mid-sized health system faced COVID-19, the pharmacy team partnered with clinicians to educate them on using therapeutics in treatment. Both pharmacy leaders and clinicians questioned the efficacy of Remdesivir based on initial published studies that lacked the data and evidence needed to make a call. Leaders also sought to better understand how peer organizations were utilizing Remdesivir. In partnership with Strata, the health system was eager to leverage a new StrataSphere report analyzing the effectiveness of Remdesivir and incorporate its findings, so that only patients most likely to see a benefit received the costly drug.


Understanding Clinical Efficacy of Costly Drug Using StrataSphere Data

After reading the StrataSphere report, the pharmacy team felt validated in their concerns about the costly drug’s efficacy. The report leveraged data from over 200,000 hospitalized patients with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, including over 127,000 patients who received Remdesivir. The study concluded that the use of Remdesivir in COVID-19 inpatients is associated with a limited improvement in overall in-hospital mortality (11.10 percent versus 11.60 percent) and a significant increase in length of stay (8.2 days versus 6.4 days in surviving patients only).

Using new information from the StrataSphere report, this organization saw significant value in being able to break down the patient populations that received Remdesivir. The data showed that the most beneficial recipients of the drug were those with early stages of COVID-19 who had other risk factors. For those who were in the early stages and healthy, as well as those in the late stages whether healthy or not, the study found that Remdesivir provides minimal benefit. The organization’s leading pharmacist in infectious diseases saw this data and was excited to leverage the StrataSphere report to connect with providers and determined a new protocol based on which population of COVID-19 patients would benefit the most from receiving Remdesivir.


Reducing Drug Utilization to Improve Patient Outcomes

In the first two months of communicating the new protocol for administering Remdesivir, the organization saw immediate impact. They quickly reduced the percentage of new COVID-19 admits that would receive Remdesivir from 48 percent to 13.4 percent. As a result of not administering Remdesivir to patient populations where it was proven to be ineffective, the health system also saw over $725,000 saved from avoiding use of the drug.

The organization has changed their recommendations for Remdesivir usage to provide it only to patients requiring rapidly escalating care, engaging their physicians in the process. Using the StrataSphere report, they were able to gain buy-in from clinicians, improve patient care and reduce costs associated with ineffective use of this COVID-19 drug within two months. The team continues to seek out other areas where they can improve patient outcomes using insights from the comprehensive StrataSphere data set.