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Trends in health care resource utilization and pharmacological management of COPD in Taiwan from 2004 to 2010

Authors Tsai YH, Yang TM, Lin CM, Huang SY, Wen YW

Received 1 August 2017

Accepted for publication 8 September 2017

Published 28 September 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2787—2793

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S147968

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai

Ying-Huang Tsai,1,* Tsung-Ming Yang,1–3,* Chieh-Mo Lin,1,2 Shu-yi Huang,1 Yu-Wen Wen4

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi, 2Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 3School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 4Clinical Informatics and Medical Statistics Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Rationale: COPD has attracted widespread attention worldwide. The prevalence of COPD in Taiwan has been reported, but little is known about trends in health care resource utilization and pharmacologic management in COPD treatment.
Objective: The objective of this article was to study trends in health care resource utilization, pharmacologic management, and medical costs of COPD treatment in Taiwan.
Materials and methods: Reimbursement claims in the Taiwan National Health Insurance System from 2004 to 2010 were collected. The disease burden of COPD, including health care resource utilization and medical costs, was evaluated.
Results: The pharmacy cost of COPD increased from 2004 to 2010 due to the increased utilization of long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and fixed-dose combination of long-acting β2-agonist and inhaled corticosteroid (LABA/ICS), whereas the cost of all other COPD-related medications decreased. The average outpatient department (OPD) cost per patient increased 29.3% from 1,070 USD in 2004 to 1,383 USD in 2010. The highest average total medical cost per patient was 3,434 USD in 2005, and it decreased 12.4% to 3,008 USD in 2010. There was no significant difference in the average number of OPD visits and emergency department visits per patient. The highest average number of hospital admissions was 0.81 in 2005, and it decreased to 0.65 in 2010. The average number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions decreased from 0.52 in 2005 to 0.31 in 2010.
Conclusion: From 2004 to 2010, the average total medical cost per patient of COPD was slightly decreased because of the decreased average number of hospital admissions and ICU admissions. The costs of both LAMA and LABA/ICS increased, while the cost for all other COPD-related medications decreased. These findings suggest that the increased utilization of LAMA and LABA/ICS may have contributed to the decreased average number of hospital admissions and ICU admissions in COPD patients from 2004 to 2010.

Keywords: COPD, health care resource utilization, pharmacologic management

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