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A US database study characterizing patients initiating a budesonide–formoterol combination versus tiotropium bromide as initial maintenance therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Kern D, Williams S, Tunceli O, Wessman C, Zhou S, Pethick N, Elhefni H, Trudo F

Received 20 March 2014

Accepted for publication 2 May 2014

Published 18 July 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 775—783


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

David M Kern,1 Setareh A Williams,2 Ozgur Tunceli,1 Catrin Wessman,3 Siting Zhou,1 Ned Pethick,2 Hanaa Elhefni,2 Frank Trudo2

1HealthCore Inc., 2AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE, USA; 3AstraZeneca, Mölndal, Sweden

Objective: To compare clinical and demographic characteristics, resource utilization and costs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients prior to initiating budesonide–formoterol combination (BFC) or tiotropium-maintenance therapy.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study used claims-based diagnosis to identify COPD patients in the HealthCore Integrated Research Database who initiated BFC or tiotropium therapy between March 1, 2009 and January 31, 2012 (intake period); the index date was defined as the initial prescription fill for either agent. Patients diagnosed with respiratory tract cancer or receiving inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists or tiotropium in 12 months prior to index date were excluded. Categorical variables were evaluated with Χ2 tests; mean cost differences were evaluated using γ-regression.
Results: Overall, 6,940 BFC and 10,831 tiotropium patients were identified. The BFC group was younger (mean age 64 versus 67 years), with a greater proportion of females (54% versus 51%). BFC-treated patients had more comorbid respiratory conditions, including asthma (25% versus 13%), but fewer comorbid cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis (7% versus 10%) and myocardial infarction (4% versus 6%). A greater proportion of BFC patients received prior respiratory medication, including oral corticosteroids (46% versus 35%) and short-acting β2-agonists (44% versus 35%). Tiotropium-treated patients had a greater mean number of COPD-related outpatient visits (4.6 versus 4.1). BFC-treated patients had lower total all-cause ($17,259 versus $17,926) and COPD-related ($1,718 versus $1,930) health care costs, driven by lower all-cause and COPD-related inpatient expenditures.
Conclusion: Initiators of BFC or tiotropium showed differences in clinical and demographic characteristics and health care utilization and costs prior to starting COPD maintenance therapy.

Keywords: observational study, retrospective analysis, chronic respiratory condition, outcome research, health care utilization and costs

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