JOURNAL ARTICLE

Health-care utilization and costs with fluticasone propionate and fluticasone propionate/salmeterol in asthma patients at risk for exacerbations

May Hagiwara, Thomas E Delea, Richard H Stanford
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings: 2014, 35 (1): 54-62
24433597
Although studies have established that adding long-acting beta agonists (LABA) to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) monotherapy among patients with inadequately controlled asthma is associated with better outcomes than increasing ICS dosage, outcomes with ICS versus fixed-dose ICS/LABA combination among patients with recent asthma exacerbation or frequent use of rescue medication are unavailable. This study was designed to compare health-care utilization/costs among patients with recent asthma exacerbation or frequent rescue medication use who received fluticasone propionate (FP) alone versus fixed-dose FP/salmeterol combination (FSC). A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a large health insurance data set. Patients with one or more claims with asthma diagnosis, two or more prescriptions for FSC (250/50- or 100/50-mg formulations) or FP (220- or 110-mg formulations), and one or more asthma exacerbations or five or more short-acting beta agonist (SABA) prescriptions within 1 year before initial receipt of study medications were included. Health-care utilization/costs and controller therapy compliance were compared for patients receiving FSC versus FP using multivariate regression analysis controlling for FP dose and baseline characteristics. A total of 7779 patients met inclusion criteria (5769, FSC, and 2010, FP) with comparable mean follow-up (FSC, 685 days; FP, 670 days; p = 0.151). Controlling for FP dosage and baseline characteristics, FSC patients had lower risks of asthma-related exacerbations, fewer SABAs and systemic corticosteroids, higher costs of asthma medications and total asthma-related health care, and lower total asthma-related health-care costs excluding study medication cost. In asthma patients with recent exacerbation or frequent SABA use, receipt of FSC reduced asthma-related exacerbation risks and rescue medication use versus receipt of FP.

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