Asinamai Ndai, M.S., a rising third-year graduate student in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s department of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy, was selected as the Best Student Podium Research Presentation at The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research, or ISPOR, conference in Boston.
Ndai’s presentation was scored among the top 5 percent of more than 2,100 abstracts accepted for the conference. He was invited to deliver a 15-minute podium presentation on his research that sheds light on the disparities between the use of warfarin and direct-acting oral anticoagulants, or DOACs.
Warfarin and DOACs are two types of anticoagulants that prevent strokes among patients with atrial fibrillation. DOACs are a newer and more effective drug, but they are more expensive than warfarin. Due to complexities associated with warfarin, patients using the medication often need regular monitoring at anticoagulation clinics. Despite DOACs being less complex, patients might choose warfarin to save on costs. Ndai’s research studied the distribution of patients who choose warfarin versus DOACs with and without access to anticoagulation clinics.
The findings revealed that patients with access to anticoagulation clinics were significantly more likely to choose warfarin as their anticoagulant of choice compared to those without access to anticoagulation clinics. This disparity was particularly prominent among Medicaid-enrolled patients, who demonstrated a clear preference for warfarin over the more expensive, but more effective, DOACs when anticoagulation services were available. This highlights the influence of anticoagulation clinics on treatment preferences, especially among vulnerable populations.
Ndai said one crucial implication of these findings is the pressing need for continued support and investment in anticoagulation clinics despite the presence of the new and improved DOACs. These specialized clinics play a vital role in ensuring equitable access to anticoagulant therapy, especially when considering the cost differences between warfarin and DOACs. Until the cost disparity is no longer a barrier to access, ongoing support for anticoagulation clinics is crucial in promoting equal treatment opportunities for all patients.
“Winning this award holds great significance as it highlights the value society places on research that aims to improve equitable access to quality care, particularly for underserved populations,” Ndai said. “Throughout my professional career, I have remained dedicated to ensuring access to life-saving medications for all individuals, and this award further reinforces the importance of our work.”
Ndai’s mentors are Rachel Reise, Pharm.D., M.S., a clinical assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy, and Steven Smith, Pharm.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy, in the UF College of Pharmacy.