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Patients’ compliance with different administration routes for allergen immunotherapy in Germany

Authors Egert-Schmidt A, Kolbe J, Mussler S, Thum-Oltmer S

Received 30 June 2014

Accepted for publication 19 August 2014

Published 24 October 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1475—1481


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Anne-Marie Egert-Schmidt, Jan-Marcel Kolbe, Sabine Mussler, Susanne Thum-Oltmer

Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG, Reinbek, Germany

Background: Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is the practice of administering gradually increasing quantities of an allergen extract to an allergic subject to ameliorate the symptoms associated with the subsequent exposure to the causative allergen. It is the only treatment that may alter the natural course of allergic diseases. According to AIT guidelines and summary of product characteristics (SmPCs), the treatment should be carried out for at least 3 years. It is controversially discussed whether subcutaneous or sublingual administration routes cause higher patients’ compliance.
Methods: German sales data for different preparations of the allergen manufacturer Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG were retrospectively evaluated for 5 consecutive years, based on prescriptions per patient: pollen sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and high-dose hypoallergenic (allergoid) or unmodified depot pollen and mite preparations for subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT). To identify patients’ compliance, “completed treatment years” were determined. A completed treatment year was defined by the required number of prescribed allergen preparations according to the recommended dosage scheme given in the respective SmPCs.
Results: Prescription data of 85,241 patients receiving pollen or mite SCIT and 706 patients receiving pollen SLIT were included in this analysis. Patients’ compliance for at least 3 treatment years with high-dose hypoallergenic pollen SCIT was higher when administered perennially (60%) compared to preseasonally (27%). Prescriptions for at least 3 years were received from 42% of patients with pollen SCIT and from 45% of patients with mite SCIT. Compliance with SLIT was lowest with only 16% of patients receiving prescriptions for at least 3 treatment years. Children and adolescents were more compliant than adults, independent of whether they received SLIT or SCIT.
Conclusion: In general, patients’ compliance with SCIT using high-dose hypoallergenic or unmodified depot preparations was higher than with pollen SLIT. Perennial application of SCIT seems to increase compliance in comparison to the preseasonal application. Children and adolescents were most compliant, independent of the preparation applied.

Keywords: compliance, real-life data, sublingual immunotherapy, subcutaneous immunotherapy, high-dose hypoallergenic preparation, preseasonal immunotherapy, perennial immunotherapy

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