Risk of asthma exacerbation, asthma-related health care utilization and costs, and adherence to controller therapy in patients with asthma receiving fluticasone propionate/salmeterol inhalation powder 100 μg/50 μg versus mometasone furoate inhalation powder

May Hagiwara, Thomas E Delea, Richard H Stanford
Journal of Asthma 2013, 50 (3): 287-95

OBJECTIVE: National asthma treatment guidelines recommend low/medium-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) as initial therapy in mild asthma patients. However, low doses of a fixed-dose combination of ICS and long-acting β-agonists are sometimes used. This study compares asthma-related outcomes and health care utilization and costs in clinical practice in patients starting fluticasone propionate 100 μg and salmeterol 50 μg via Diskus (FSC) or mometasone furoate (MF).

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to compare asthma-related outcomes in asthma patients who received FSC or MF, using a large health insurance claims dataset spanning January 2004-December 2008. Patients with ≥1 claim with an asthma ICD-9-CM diagnosis code and ≥2 FSC or MF prescriptions were included, stratified into FSC or MF groups by study drug received first and matched using propensity score.

RESULTS: A total of 18,283 patients met inclusion criteria (14,044 FSC and 4239 MF); 3799 matched pairs were identified (mean follow-up: FSC 548 days, MF 537 days). FSC patients had lower risk of asthma-related exacerbation (Hazard ratio = 0.88, 95% CI 0.81-0.95, p = .002), defined as either asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits/hospitalizations or receipt of systemic corticosteroids (SCSs); fewer SCS claims (mean 0.28 vs. 0.33, p = .021); and fewer asthma-related physician office (PO) and hospital outpatient (HO) visits (mean 1.17 vs. 1.63, p < .001). However, asthma-related ED visits were higher with FSC (p = .004), and FSC patients had higher total costs of asthma-related health care ($953 vs. $862, p = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: In asthma patients initiating ICS therapy, MF had lower asthma-related ED visits. However, FSC may reduce the use of SCS and asthma-related PO/HO visits.

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