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      Medication adherence and persistence in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients receiving triple therapy in a USA commercially insured population

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          This longitudinal, retrospective cohort study of patients with COPD describes baseline characteristics, adherence, and persistence following initiation of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)/long-acting β 2-agonists (LABA)/long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) from multiple inhaler triple therapy (MITT).


          Patients aged ≥40 years receiving MITT between January 2012 and September 2015 were identified from the IQVIA™ Real-world Data Adjudicated Claims–USA database. MITT was defined as subjects with ≥1 overlapping days’ supply of three COPD medications (ICS, LABA, and LAMA). Adherence (proportion of days covered, PDC) and discontinuation (defined as a gap of 1, 30, 60, or 90 days of supply in any of the three components of the triple therapy) were calculated for each patient over 12 months of follow-up. In addition, analyses were stratified by number of inhalers.


          In total, 14,635 MITT users were identified (mean age, 62 years). Mean PDC for MITT at 12 months was 0.37%. Mean PDC for the ICS/LABA and LAMA component at 12 months was 49% (0.49±0.31; median, 0.47) and 54% (0.54±0.33; 0.56), respectively. The proportion of adherent patients (PDC ≥0.8) at 12 months was 14% for MITT. Allowing for a 30-day gap from last day of therapy, 86% of MITT users discontinued therapy during follow-up.


          Patients with COPD had low adherence to and persistence with MITT in a real-world setting. Mean PDC for each single inhaler component was higher than the mean PDC observed with MITT. Reducing the number of inhalers may improve overall adherence to intended triple therapy.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Comorbidity measures for use with administrative data.

          This study attempts to develop a comprehensive set of comorbidity measures for use with large administrative inpatient datasets. The study involved clinical and empirical review of comorbidity measures, development of a framework that attempts to segregate comorbidities from other aspects of the patient's condition, development of a comorbidity algorithm, and testing on heterogeneous and homogeneous patient groups. Data were drawn from all adult, nonmaternal inpatients from 438 acute care hospitals in California in 1992 (n = 1,779,167). Outcome measures were those commonly available in administrative data: length of stay, hospital charges, and in-hospital death. A comprehensive set of 30 comorbidity measures was developed. The comorbidities were associated with substantial increases in length of stay, hospital charges, and mortality both for heterogeneous and homogeneous disease groups. Several comorbidities are described that are important predictors of outcomes, yet commonly are not measured. These include mental disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity, coagulopathy, weight loss, and fluid and electrolyte disorders. The comorbidities had independent effects on outcomes and probably should not be simplified as an index because they affect outcomes differently among different patient groups. The present method addresses some of the limitations of previous measures. It is based on a comprehensive approach to identifying comorbidities and separates them from the primary reason for hospitalization, resulting in an expanded set of comorbidities that easily is applied without further refinement to administrative data for a wide range of diseases.
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            Adherence to inhaled therapies, health outcomes and costs in patients with asthma and COPD.

            Suboptimal adherence to pharmacological treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has adverse effects on disease control and treatment costs. The reasons behind non-adherence revolve around patient knowledge/education, inhaler device convenience and satisfaction, age, adverse effects and medication costs. Age is of particular concern given the increasing prevalence of asthma in the young and increased rates of non-adherence in adolescents compared with children and adults. The correlation between adherence to inhaled pharmacological therapies for asthma and COPD and clinical efficacy is positive, with improved symptom control and lung function shown in most studies of adults, adolescents and children. Satisfaction with inhaler devices is also positively correlated with improved adherence and clinical outcomes, and reduced costs. Reductions in healthcare utilisation are consistently observed with good adherence; however, costs associated with general healthcare and lost productivity tend to be offset only in more adherent patients with severe disease, versus those with milder forms of asthma or COPD. Non-adherence is associated with higher healthcare utilisation and costs, and reductions in health-related quality of life, and remains problematic on an individual, societal and economic level. Further development of measures to improve adherence is needed to fully address these issues. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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              Medication adherence issues in patients treated for COPD

              Although medical treatment of COPD has advanced, nonadherence to medication regimens poses a significant barrier to optimal management. Underuse, overuse, and improper use continue to be the most common causes of poor adherence to therapy. An average of 40%–60% of patients with COPD adheres to the prescribed regimen and only 1 out of 10 patients with a metered dose inhaler performs all essential steps correctly. Adherence to therapy is multifactorial and involves both the patient and the primary care provider. The effect of patient instruction on inhaler adherence and rescue medication utilization in patients with COPD does not seem to parallel the good results reported in patients with asthma. While use of a combined inhaler may facilitate adherence to medications and improve efficacy, pharmacoeconomic factors may influence patient’s selection of both the device and the regimen. Patient’s health beliefs, experiences, and behaviors play a significant role in adherence to pharmacological therapy. This manuscript reviews important aspects associated with medication adherence in patients with COPD and identifies some predictors of poor adherence.

                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
                19 February 2019
                : 14
                : 343-352
                [1 ]GlaxoSmithKline plc, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, michael.r.bogart@
                [2 ]Groupe d’Analyse, Ltée, Montréal, QC, Canada
                [3 ]Analysis Group Inc., Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Michael Bogart, GlaxoSmithKline plc, 5 Moore Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27703, USA, Tel +1 919 483 0231, Email michael.r.bogart@
                © 2019 Bogart 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.

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