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Comparative Effectiveness of Management Strategies for Adults With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: An Update

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Background: Health Impact of GERD

GERD is one of the most common health conditions affecting Americans. Many patients have frequent, severe symptoms that require long-term, regular use of acid-reducing medications. GERD continues to be an important disease both in terms of cost and public health. One study of an employed population in the United States estimated that more than 11,000 of 267,000 employees (4%) suffered from GERD, contributing an average incremental cost of $3,355 per employee during a 3-year observation period—approximately 65 percent related to prescription drugs. At the same time, it is well recognized that some drugs used to treat GERD (such as proton pump inhibitors) are overprescribed. The large disease burden, economic impact, and market potential for new drugs and devices explain the continued intense interest in GERD and the development of cost-effective approaches for its diagnosis and management. Furthermore, there remains considerable uncertainty about how the treatment objectives should be achieved for patients with GERD.

GERD = gastroesophageal reflux disease