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COPD management costs according to the frequency of COPD exacerbations in UK primary care

Authors Punekar Y, Shukla A, Müllerova H

Received 12 September 2013

Accepted for publication 11 November 2013

Published 9 January 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 65—73


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Yogesh Suresh Punekar,1 Amit Shukla,2 Hana Müllerova3

1Global Health Outcomes, GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Uxbridge, UK; 2Worldwide Epidemiology, GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Upper Providence, PA, USA; 3Worldwide Epidemiology, GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Uxbridge, UK

Background: The economic burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations is significant, but the impact of other sources on the overall cost of COPD management is largely unknown. We aimed to estimate overall costs for patients experiencing none, one, or two or more exacerbations per year in the UK.
Methods: A retrospective cohort of prevalent COPD patients was identified in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink UK database. Patients with information recorded for at least 12 months before and after cohort entry date were included (first prevalent COPD diagnosis confirmed by spirometry on/after April 1, 2009). Patients were categorized as having none, one, or two or more moderate-to-severe COPD exacerbations in the 12 months after cohort entry and further classified by the Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) category of airflow obstruction and the Medical Research Council dyspnea scale. Study outcomes included counts of general practitioner interactions, moderate-severe COPD exacerbations, and non-COPD hospitalizations. Estimated resource use costs were calculated using National Health Service reference costs for 2010–2011.
Results: The cohort comprised 58,589 patients (mean age 69.5 years, mean dyspnea grade 2.5, females 46.6%, current smokers 33.1%). The average total annual per patient cost of COPD management, excluding medications, was £2,108 for all patients and £1,523, £2,405, and £3,396 for patients experiencing no, one, or two or more moderate-to-severe exacerbations, respectively. General practitioner interactions contributed most to these annual costs, accounting for £1,062 (69.7%), £1,313 (54.6%), and £1,592 (46.9%) in patients with no, one, or two or more moderate-to-severe exacerbations, respectively.
Conclusion: Disease management strategies focused on reducing costs in primary care may help reduce total COPD costs significantly.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, frequent exacerbations, infrequent exacerbations, health resources, health care costs

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