Guidelines recommend the use of triple therapy with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), a long-acting β 2 agonist (LABA) and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) to reduce the risk of future exacerbations in symptomatic COPD patients with a history of exacerbations. This study aimed to estimate COPD-related healthcare resource use and costs, and subsequent exacerbation rates, for patients initiating multiple-inhaler triple therapy (MITT) early (≤30 days) versus late (31–180 days) following an exacerbation, in a real-world clinical setting.
This was an observational, longitudinal, retrospective study using electronic medical records from the Spanish database of the Red de Investigación en Servicios Sanitarios Foundation. Patients ≥40 years old with a confirmed COPD diagnosis who were newly prescribed MITT up to 180 days after an exacerbation between January 2013 and December 2015 were included. Patients were followed from the date of MITT initiation for up to 12 months to assess COPD-related health care resource use (routine and emergency visits, hospitalizations, pharmacologic treatment), exacerbation rate, and costs (€2017); these endpoints were compared between early versus late groups.
The study included 1280 patients who met selection criteria: mean age 73 years, 78% male, and 41% had severe/very severe lung function impairment. The proportion of patients initiating MITT early versus late was 61.6% versus 38.4%, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in baseline characteristics between groups. During follow-up, health care resource consumption was lower in the early versus late group, especially primary care and ED visits, leading to lower total costs (€1861 versus €1935; P<0.05). In the follow-up period, 28.0% of the patients in the early group experienced ≥1 exacerbation versus 36.4% in the late group ( P=0.002), with an exacerbation rate of 0.5 versus 0.6 per person per year ( P=0.022), respectively.