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      Evaluation of costs accrued through inadvertent continuation of hospital-initiated proton pump inhibitor therapy for stress ulcer prophylaxis beyond hospital discharge: a retrospective chart review

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          Abstract

          Background

          Stress ulcers and related upper gastrointestinal bleeding are well-known complications in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-based stress ulcer prophylaxis (SUP) has been widely prescribed in noncritically ill patients who are at low risk for clinically significant bleeding, which is then injudiciously continued after hospital discharge. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of inappropriate prescribing of PPI-based preventative therapy in ICU versus non-ICU patients that subsequently continued postdischarge, and to estimate the costs incurred by the unwarranted outpatient continuation of PPI therapy.

          Methods

          A retrospective review of patient data at a major teaching hospital in Korea was performed. During the 4-year study period, adult patients who were newly initiated on PPI-based SUP during hospital admission and subsequently discharged on a PPI without a medical indication for such therapy were captured for data analysis. The incidence rates of inappropriate prescribing of PPIs were compared between ICU and non-ICU patients, and the costs associated with such therapy were also examined.

          Results

          A total of 4,410 patients, more than half of the inpatient-initiated PPI users, were deemed to have been inadvertently prescribed a PPI at discharge in the absence of a medical need for acid suppression. The incidence of inappropriate outpatient continuation of the prophylaxis was higher among ICU patients compared with non-ICU patients (57.7% versus 52.2%, respectively; P=0.001). The total expenditure accrued through the continuation of nonindicated PPI therapy was approximately US$40,175.

          Conclusion

          This study confirmed that excess usage of PPIs for SUP has spread to low-risk, non-ICU patients. The overuse of unwarranted PPI therapy can incur large health care expenditure, as well as clinical complications with minimal therapeutic benefits. Educating clinicians regarding SUP guidelines and the adverse effects of long-term use of acid suppression can improve the cost effectiveness of PPI therapy.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Risk factors for gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients. Canadian Critical Care Trials Group.

          The efficacy of prophylaxis against stress ulcers in preventing gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients has led to its widespread use. The side effects and cost of prophylaxis, however, necessitate targeting preventive therapy to those patients most likely to benefit. We conducted a prospective multicenter cohort study in which we evaluated potential risk factors for stress ulceration in patients admitted to intensive care units and documented the occurrence of clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding (defined as overt bleeding in association with hemodynamic compromise or the need for blood transfusion). Of 2252 patients, 33 (1.5 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.1 percent) had clinically important bleeding. Two strong independent risk factors for bleeding were identified: respiratory failure (odds ratio, 15.6) and coagulopathy (odds ratio, 4.3). Of 847 patients who had one or both of these risk factors, 31 (3.7 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.5 to 5.2 percent) had clinically important bleeding. Of 1405 patients without these risk factors, 2 (0.1 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.02 to 0.5 percent) had clinically important bleeding. The mortality rate was 48.5 percent in the group with bleeding and 9.1 percent in the group without bleeding (P < 0.001). Few critically ill patients have clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding, and therefore prophylaxis against stress ulcers can be safely withheld from critically ill patients unless they have coagulopathy or require mechanical ventilation.
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            Acid-suppressive medication use and the risk for hospital-acquired pneumonia.

            The use of acid-suppressive medication has been steadily increasing, particularly in the inpatient setting, despite lack of an accepted indication in the majority of these patients. To examine the association between acid-suppressive medication and hospital-acquired pneumonia. Prospective pharmacoepidemiologic cohort study. All patients who were admitted to a large, urban, academic medical center in Boston, Massachusetts, from January 2004 through December 2007; at least 18 years of age; and hospitalized for 3 or more days were eligible for inclusion. Admissions with time spent in the intensive care unit were excluded. Acid-suppressive medication use was defined as any order for a proton-pump inhibitor or histamine(2) receptor antagonist. Traditional and propensity-matched multivariable logistic regression were used to control for confounders. Incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia, defined via codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM), in patients exposed and unexposed to acid-suppressive medication. The final cohort comprised 63 878 admissions. Acid-suppressive medication was ordered in 52% of admissions and hospital-acquired pneumonia occurred in 2219 admissions (3.5%). The unadjusted incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia was higher in the group exposed to acid-suppressive medication than in the unexposed group (4.9% vs 2.0%; odds ratio [OR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-2.8). Using multivariable logistic regression, the adjusted OR of hospital-acquired pneumonia in the group exposed to acid-suppressive medication was 1.3 (95% CI, 1.1-1.4). The matched propensity-score analyses yielded identical results. The association was significant for proton-pump inhibitors (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4) but not for histamine(2) receptor antagonists (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.98-1.4). In this large, hospital-based pharmacoepidemiologic cohort, acid-suppressive medication use was associated with 30% increased odds of hospital-acquired pneumonia. In subset analyses, statistically significant risk was demonstrated only for proton-pump inhibitor use.
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              We should abandon randomized controlled trials in the intensive care unit.

              The randomized controlled trial is seen by many as the summit of evidence-based medicine, yet, in the intensive care unit, randomized controlled trials can be challenging to conduct, and results are often difficult to interpret and apply. Many randomized controlled trials in intensive care patients have not demonstrated beneficial effects of the intervention under investigation often despite good preclinical and even previous randomized controlled trial evidence. There are many reasons for these negative results including problems with timing, end point selection, and heterogeneous populations. In this article, we will discuss the limitations of randomized controlled trials in the intensive care unit population and highlight the importance of considering other study designs in the challenging intensive care unit environment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2015
                24 May 2015
                : 11
                : 649-657
                Affiliations
                Ajou University College of Pharmacy, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Sooyoung Shin, Ajou University College of Pharmacy, 206, World cup-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 443-749, South Korea, Tel +82 31 219 3456, Fax +82 31 219 3435, Email syshin@ 123456ajou.ac.kr
                Article
                tcrm-11-649
                10.2147/TCRM.S81759
                4420549
                26005351
                © 2015 Shin. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Original Research

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