The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma

An evaluation of asthma medication utilization for risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) in the United States: 2005-2011.

PMID 23663008


The purpose of this study was to assess drug utilization patterns of fluticasone propionate (FP)/salmeterol (SAL) combination (FSC) and SAL over the 7-year period of 2005-2011 in patients with asthma as part of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS). A descriptive, retrospective observational study utilizing national pharmacy data and employer-based claims data to characterize drug utilization patterns. For patients with asthma, the total number of FSC and SAL dispensings and users of FSC and SAL has declined between 2005 and 2011. During this period, FSC and SAL dispensing for asthma decreased 24% and 76%, respectively, with a more pronounced decline between 2010 and 2011 relative to other years. The total number of patients with asthma who were dispensed FSC has decreased by 10% among adults and by 40% in children and adolescents. While SAL-containing medications decreased, dispensing of FP monotherapy increased 39% during the same 7-year period. The number of patients dispensed FP for asthma has increased 47% in children 4-11 years of age, 72% in adolescents 12-17 years of age, and 6% in adults. SAL use without a controller was infrequent and decreasing, reported by 1.7% and 0.5% of patients with asthma in 2005 and 2011, respectively. In patients with asthma, use of FSC and SAL decreased between 2005 and 2011, while the use of FP increased. Use of SAL monotherapy was infrequent and declined during the study period. The data suggest that the substantial communication activities have encouraged appropriate prescribing of long-acting β2-adrenergic agonist (LABA).

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