Long-term inhaled corticosteroid adherence in asthma patients

Published Online: September 2016

In asthma, the first weeks following initiation of therapy are critical for regular long-term use. In the original research published by Laforest and colleagues in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: in Practice authors investigated whether asthma patients identified during an episode of regular inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) use remain regularly treated over subsequent months.

Authors used claims data to determine long-term drug coverage by ICS in a cohort of asthma patients regularly treated by ICS therapy at selection. They verify whether patients maintained prolonged use of ICS therapy. Correlates of appropriate ICS coverage (Continuous Measure of Medication Acquisition; CMA≥80%) were identified.

Among 5,096 asthma patients, only 24.0% had a CMA≥80% (mean CMA= 54.4%) over the 12 months following selection. Achieving CMA≥80% was associated with being a child/teenager, having more severe or less controlled asthma, having more previous dispensing of short-acting beta-agonists, and receiving devices with 200 unit-doses. Adherent patients had more frequent GP visits, more distinct prescribers of respiratory therapy and more frequent switches of ICS.

Authors conclude that a majority of asthma patients selected during regular ICS use did not maintain therapy over the following months.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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