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Initiation of triple therapy maintenance treatment among patients with COPD in the US

Authors Simeone JC, Luthra R, Kaila S, Pan X, Bhagnani TD, Liu J, Wilcox TK

Received 10 September 2016

Accepted for publication 9 November 2016

Published 22 December 2016 Volume 2017:12 Pages 73—83

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S122013

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

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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