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Real-world healthcare utilization in asthma patients using albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol (ProAir® HFA) with and without integrated dose counters

Authors Kerwin EM, Ferro TJ, Ariely R, Irwin DE, Parikh R

Received 22 December 2016

Accepted for publication 17 March 2017

Published 17 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 171—179


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos

Edward M Kerwin,1 Thomas J Ferro,2 Rinat Ariely,3 Debra E Irwin,4 Ruchir Parikh3

1Clinical Trials Division, Clinical Research Institute of Southern Oregon, PC, Medford, OR, 2Global Medical Affairs, 3Global Health Economics and Outcome Research, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Frazer, PA, 4Outcomes Research, Truven Health Analytics, Durham, NC, USA

Background: Accurate tracking of the administered dose of asthma rescue inhalers is critical for optimal disease management and is related to reductions in rates of unscheduled health care utilization in asthma patients. There are few published data on the real-world impact of rescue inhalers with integrated dose counters (IDCs) on health care resource utilization (HRU) for asthma patients. This study evaluates HRU among users of ProAir® hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol), with IDC versus without IDC, in asthma patients.
Methods: This was a retrospective administrative claims study of asthma patients receiving a new prescription for albuterol inhalation aerosol without IDC during 2 years (January 2011–December 2012) or with IDC during the first full year after IDC implementation in the USA (July 2013–July 2014). Six months of continuous enrollment with medical and prescription drug benefits were required before and after the first prescription during the study period. Data on respiratory-related hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits were collected during the follow-up period.
Results: A total of 135,305 (32%) patients used albuterol inhalation aerosol with IDC, and 287,243 (68%) patients received albuterol inhalation aerosol without IDC. After adjusting for baseline confounding factors, the odds ratio (OR) for experiencing a respiratory-related hospitalization (OR=0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88–0.96) or ED visit (OR=0.92; 95% CI 0.90–0.94) was significantly lower among patients using albuterol inhalation aerosol with IDC versus without IDC.
Conclusion: In a real-world setting, asthma patients using ProAir HFA with IDC experienced significantly fewer hospitalizations and ED visits compared with patients using ProAir HFA without IDC. Dosage information provided by IDCs may allow providers to better understand patients’ disease severity and aid in titrating controller medications and also decrease the likelihood that the canister will be empty when needed, thereby enhancing disease management and reducing HRU.

Keywords: asthma, ProAir, integrated dose counters, respiratory-related hospitalizations, emergency department visits, lower respiratory tract infections-related outpatient visits

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