Initiation of triple therapy maintenance treatment among patients with COPD in the US
Received 10 September 2016
Accepted for publication 9 November 2016
Published 22 December 2016 Volume 2017:12 Pages 73—83
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell
Jason C Simeone,1 Rakesh Luthra,2 Shuchita Kaila,2 Xiaoyun Pan,1 Tarun D Bhagnani,1 Jieruo Liu,1 Teresa K Wilcox1
1Real-World Evidence, Evidera, Waltham, MA, 2HEOR Value Demonstration Team, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT, USA
Background: The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommends triple therapy (long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists, long-acting beta-2 agonists, and inhaled corticosteroids) for patients with only the most severe COPD. Data on the proportion of COPD patients on triple therapy and their characteristics are sparse and dated. Objective 1 of this study was to estimate the proportion of all, and all treated, COPD patients receiving triple therapy. Objective 2 was to characterize those on triple therapy and assess the concordance of triple therapy use with GOLD guidelines.
Patients and methods: This retrospective study used claims from the IMS PharMetrics Plus database from 2009 to 2013. Cohort 1 was selected to assess Objective 1 only; descriptive analyses were conducted in Cohort 2 to answer Objective 2. A validated claims-based algorithm and severity and frequency of exacerbations were used as proxies for COPD severity.
Results: Of all 199,678 patients with COPD in Cohort 1, 7.5% received triple therapy after diagnosis, and 25.5% of all treated patients received triple therapy. In Cohort 2, 30,493 COPD patients (mean age =64.7 years) who initiated triple therapy were identified. Using the claims-based algorithm, 34.5% of Cohort 2 patients were classified as having mild disease (GOLD 1), 40.8% moderate (GOLD 2), 22.5% severe (GOLD 3), and 2.3% very severe (GOLD 4). Using exacerbation severity and frequency, 60.6% of patients were classified as GOLD 1/2 and 39.4% as GOLD 3/4.
Conclusion: In this large US claims database study, one-quarter of all treated COPD patients received triple therapy. Although triple therapy is recommended for the most severe COPD patients, spirometry is infrequently assessed, and a majority of the patients who receive triple therapy may have only mild/moderate disease. Any potential overprescribing of triple therapy may lead to unnecessary costs to the patient and health care system.
Keywords: COPD, triple therapy, severity, epidemiology, retrospective study
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