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Long-acting bronchodilator use after hospitalization for COPD: an observational study of health insurance claims data

Authors Baker CL, Zou KH, Su J

Received 17 December 2013

Accepted for publication 6 March 2014

Published 3 May 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 431—439

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S59322

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Christine L Baker,1 Kelly H Zou,1 Jun Su2

1Pfizer Inc., New York, NY, USA; 2Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ridgefield, CT, USA

Background: Treatment of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with long-acting bronchodilator (LABD) medications is recommended by the 2014 Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines. The primary objective of this study was to examine LABD prescription fills after a COPD-related hospitalization.
Methods: This retrospective observational study used claims from Truven Health MarketScan® Commercial and Medicare Supplemental databases. Patients (age ≥40, commercial; age ≥65, Medicare supplemental) had a first hospitalization with a primary COPD diagnosis between April 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011 (index hospitalization) and were continuously enrolled for 1 year before and 9 months after hospitalization. Patients were categorized according to pre-index and/or post-index pharmacy claims.
Results: A total of 27,738 patients had an index hospitalization and met inclusion/exclusion criteria. Of those, 19,783 patients had COPD as a primary or secondary diagnosis during the year before index hospitalization and were included in the analysis. Approximately one quarter of the patients (26.32%) did not fill a prescription for an LABD or short-acting bronchodilator both 90 days before and 90 days after hospitalization. During the 90-day pre-index period, 40.57% of patients filled an LABD (with or without a short-acting bronchodilator) prescription. Over half of the patients (56.88%) filled an LABD prescription at some point during the 180-day post-index period, but, of those, a significantly greater proportion of patients filled an LABD prescription in the 1- to 90-day post-index period than in the 91- to 180-day post-index period (51.27% versus 43.66%; P<0.0001).
Conclusion: A significant proportion of COPD patients in this study did not fill an LABD prescription before hospitalization for COPD. Moreover, hospitalization did not appear to greatly impact LABD initiation. Lastly, patients who did not fill an LABD prescription within the first 90 days posthospitalization were not likely to fill an LABD prescription later. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that many patients with COPD are undertreated.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, non-interventional, retrospective, short-acting bronchodilator

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