Study: Children with cerebral palsy not receiving therapy

Among children with cerebral palsy, 42% have not received any common spasticity management therapies, including orthotics, casting or orthopedic surgery, according to a press release from Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

The study was presented by Hank Chambers, MD, a professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at the University of California San Diego, at the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 2017 Annual Meeting, in Montreal, Canada.

“This study supports the need for a broader look into the overall management plans for children living with Cerebral Palsy, including appropriate treatment options and physical and occupational therapies. We hope this would also lead to better management of costs for families,” David Cox, vice president of North American medical, HEOR and regulatory affairs at Ipsen, said in the release. “Ipsen is committed to improving the care of children with lower limb spasticity — especially those with Cerebral Palsy, the most common motor disability in children.”

To determine the epidemiology, treatment, use of resources and associated costs of children with cerebral palsy in the United States, the researchers analyzed Medicaid data from a proprietary database that includes 7 million patients in 15 states, between 2013 and 2015. The data included 3,294 unique cases, with patients diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged 2 to 20 years.

According to the researchers, 42% of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy did not receive any of the 10 common therapies commonly used for spasticity management, as selected by a group of multidisciplinary researchers and care team members. These therapies included physical therapy, orthotics, oral baclofen, botulinum toxin, anti-spasm medication, casting, orthopedic surgery, baclofen injection, baclofen pumps and rhizotomies.

In addition, the researchers found that the average annual cost of treatment for a child with cerebral palsy was 16 times greater than the average for any child enrolled in Medicaid — $22,383 compared to $1,359, respectively — between 2013 and 2015. Expenditures included pharmacy use, medical services, home health, long term care and hospice.

According to the researchers, 30.5% of the patients were identified as “likely ambulatory,” while 33.8% were “likely non-ambulatory.” The ambulatory status of the remaining patients was unknown, the release said. Children with cerebral palsy that were likely non-ambulatory had average annual costs that were 4 times greater than those associated with patients who were likely ambulatory.


Chambers H, et al. “Costs for the pediatric cerebral palsy population enrolled in managed medicaid in the United States.” Presented at: American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Annual Meeting; Sept. 13-16, 2017; Montreal.

Disclosures: The researchers report that the study was sponsored by Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals.


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