Regular Article| Volume 95, ISSUE 12, P992-998, December 2001

Cost analysis of the use of inhaled corticosteroids in the treatment of asthma: a 1-year follow-up

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      A retrospective cohort using pharmacy and medical claims was analysed to determine whether the differences in efficacy of various inhaled corticosteroids demonstrated in clinical trials lead to differences in costs of care observed in clinical practice. Subjects that had an ICD-9 (493.XX) code for asthma and a new pharmacy claim for inhaled fluticasone propionate 44 mcg (FP), beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), triamcinolone acetonide (TAA), budesonide (BUD) or flunisolide (FLU) were identified and followed for 12 months. Annual asthma care charges (pharmacy and medical) over the 12-month observation period were significantly (P<0·03) higher in patients treated with BDP, TAA, BUD and FLU compared to FP, 24%, 27%, 34% and 45% respectively. In addition, patients treated with BDP, TAA, and FLU were associated with significantly (P≤0·005) higher total healthcare (asthma + non-asthma) charges compared to patients on FP, 53%, 46% and 39% respectively. Asthma care and total healthcare charges remained lower for FP after including FP 110 mcg and excluding patients who were extreme cost outliers (±2 Math Eq from the mean) in a univariate sensitivity analysis. This analysis supports recent randomized control trials that FP offers a superior efficacy profile at lower asthma care as well as total healthcare charges compared to other inhaled corticosteroids.




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