A US database study characterizing patients initiating a budesonide-formoterol combination versus tiotropium bromide as initial maintenance therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

David M Kern, Setareh A Williams, Ozgur Tunceli, Catrin Wessman, Siting Zhou, Ned Pethick, Hanaa Elhefni, Frank Trudo
International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2014, 9: 775-83

OBJECTIVE: To compare clinical and demographic characteristics, resource utilization and costs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients prior to initiating budesonide-formoterol combination (BFC) or tiotropium-maintenance therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study used claims-based diagnosis to identify COPD patients in the HealthCore Integrated Research Database who initiated BFC or tiotropium therapy between March 1, 2009 and January 31, 2012 (intake period); the index date was defined as the initial prescription fill for either agent. Patients diagnosed with respiratory tract cancer or receiving inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists or tiotropium in 12 months prior to index date were excluded. Categorical variables were evaluated with χ(2) tests; mean cost differences were evaluated using γ-regression.

RESULTS: Overall, 6,940 BFC and 10,831 tiotropium patients were identified. The BFC group was younger (mean age 64 versus 67 years), with a greater proportion of females (54% versus 51%). BFC-treated patients had more comorbid respiratory conditions, including asthma (25% versus 13%), but fewer comorbid cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis (7% versus 10%) and myocardial infarction (4% versus 6%). A greater proportion of BFC patients received prior respiratory medication, including oral corticosteroids (46% versus 35%) and short-acting β2-agonists (44% versus 35%). Tiotropium-treated patients had a greater mean number of COPD-related outpatient visits (4.6 versus 4.1). BFC-treated patients had lower total all-cause ($17,259 versus $17,926) and COPD-related ($1,718 versus $1,930) health care costs, driven by lower all-cause and COPD-related inpatient expenditures.

CONCLUSION: Initiators of BFC or tiotropium showed differences in clinical and demographic characteristics and health care utilization and costs prior to starting COPD maintenance therapy.

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