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      Relevance of dosage in adherence to treatment with long-acting anticholinergics in patients with COPD

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          The aim of this study was to assess the degree of adherence for two standard regimens for administrating anticholinergic drugs (12 and 24 hours) in patients with chronic obstruction of the airflow and to establish whether the use of a once-daily dose improves the level of treatment adherence.


          We used long-acting anticholinergics (LAMAs) as a study variable, and included the entire health area of Castile-La Mancha, numbering 2,100,998 inhabitants, as the study population. We analyzed a total of 16,446 patients who had been prescribed a LAMA between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. The follow-up period, based on a centralized system of electronic prescription management, was extended until December 2014.


          During 2013, the medication collected was 7.4%–10.7% higher than indicated by labeling. This was very similar for all LAMAs, irrespective of the patient’s sex, the molecule, the device, and the drug dosage. We did not observe seasonal variations in the consumption of LAMAs, nor did we detect differences between prescription drugs for once-daily (every 24 hours) versus twice-daily (every 12 hours) administration, between the different molecules, or between different types of inhalers for the same molecule. The results were similar in 2014.


          The principal conclusion of this study is that, in an area with a centralized management system of pharmacological prescriptions, adherence to treatment with LAMAs is very high, irrespective of the molecules or inhalation device. We did not find that patients who used twice-daily medication had a lower adherence.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Long-term persistence in use of statin therapy in elderly patients.

          Knowledge of long-term persistence with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) therapy is limited because previous studies have observed patients for short periods of time, in closely monitored clinical trials, or in other unrepresentative settings. To describe the patterns and predictors of long-term persistence with statin therapy in an elderly US population. Retrospective cohort study including 34 501 enrollees in the New Jersey Medicaid and Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled programs who were 65 years of age and older, initiated statin treatment between 1990 and 1998, and who were followed up until death, disenrollment, or December 31, 1999. Proportion of days covered (PDC) by a statin in each quarter during the first year of therapy and every 6 months thereafter; predictors of suboptimal persistence during each interval (PDC <80%) were identified using generalized linear models for repeated measures. The mean PDC was 79% in the first 3 months of treatment, 56% in the second quarter, and 42% after 120 months. Only 1 patient in 4 maintained a PDC of at least 80% after 5 years. The proportion of patients with a PDC less than 80% increased in a log-linear manner, comprising 40%, 61%, and 68% of the cohort after 3, 12, and 120 months, respectively. Independent predictors of poor long-term persistence included nonwhite race, lower income, older age, less cardiovascular morbidity at initiation of therapy, depression, dementia, and occurrence of coronary heart disease events after starting treatment. Patients who initiated therapy between 1996-1998 were 21% to 25% more likely to have a PDC of at least 80% than those who started in 1990. Persistence with statin therapy in older patients declines substantially over time, with the greatest drop occurring in the first 6 months of treatment. Despite slightly better persistence among patients who began treatment in recent years, long-term use remains low. Interventions are needed early in treatment and among high-risk groups, including those who experience coronary heart disease events after initiating treatment.
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            Dosing frequency and medication adherence in chronic disease.

            Prior research has shown a decrease in medication adherence as dosing frequency increases; however, meta-analyses have not been able to demonstrate a significant inverse relationship between dosing frequency and adherence when comparing twice-daily versus once-daily dosing. To determine the effect of scheduled dosing frequency on medication adherence in patients with chronic diseases. A systematic literature search of Medline and Embase from January 1986 to December 2011 and a hand search of references were performed to identify eligible studies. Randomized and observational studies were included if they utilized a prospective design, assessed adult patients with chronic diseases, evaluated scheduled oral medications taken 1 to 4 times daily, and measured medication adherence for at least 1 month using an electronic monitoring device. Manual searches of reference sections of identified studies and systematic reviews were also performed to find other potentially relevant articles. Standard definitions for medication taking, regimen, and timing adherence were used and evaluated. Studies were pooled using a multivariate linear mixed-model method to conduct meta-regression accounting for both random and fixed effects, weighted by the inverse of the variance of medication adherence. Fifty-one studies, comprising 65, 76, and 47 dosing frequency arms for the taking, regimen, and timing adherence endpoints were included. Unadjusted adherence estimates were highest when the least stringent definition, taking adherence, was used (range for dosing frequencies: 80.1%-93.0%) and lowest when the most stringent definition, timing adherence, was used (range for dosing frequencies: 18.8%-76.9%). In multivariate meta-regression analyses, the adjusted weighted mean percentage adherence rates for all regimens dosed more frequently than once per day were significantly lower compared with once-daily regimens (for 2-times, 3-times, and 4-times daily regimens, respectively: differences for taking adherence: -6.7%, -13.5%, and -19.2%; regimen adherence: -13.1%, -24.9%, and -23.1%; and timing adherence: -26.7%, -39.0%, and -54.2%). Patients with chronic diseases appear to be more adherent with once-daily compared with more frequently scheduled medication regimens. The use of more stringent definitions of adherence magnified these findings. Copyright © 2012, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.
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              Estimating medication persistency using administrative claims data.

              To review the definitions and methods for measuring medication persistency, and to propose a uniform definition of and calculation for persistency using pharmacy claims data. Literature review. A MEDLINE search (1966 to present) was performed to identify articles detailing a definition or method of persistency measurement based on automated pharmacy data. Articles were screened for relevance by title and abstract. References from identified articles were used to expand the search results. The concept behind medication persistency measurement is to capture the amount of time that an individual remains on chronic drug therapy. The methods to calculate medication persistency can be classified into 1 of 3 categories: (1) Persistency as a function of the medication possession ratio; (2) persistency as a function of medication availability at a fixed point in time; and (3) persistency as a function of the gaps between refills. The common goal of all persistency measures should be to reflect the continuity of medication usage and to capture the timeliness and the frequency of refilling. The measurement of persistency as a function of the gaps between refills provides the best assessment of refill compliance across a variety of medication and disease states and lends itself to the well-established measurements of survival analysis.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                10 February 2016
                : 11
                : 289-293
                [1 ]Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Spain
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacy, Guadalajara Integrated Care Management, Guadalajara, Spain
                [3 ]Department of Primary Care, Guadalajara Integrated Care Management, Guadalajara, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: José Luis Izquierdo, Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, C/Donante de Sangre sn, 19002 Guadalajara, Spain, Email jlizquierdo@
                © 2016 Izquierdo et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                asthma, copd, treatment, adherence, labas, lamas, pdc


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