An analysis of the utilisation and expenditure of medicines dispensed for the management of severe asthma.
AffiliationDepartment of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James's Hospital, James's St, Dublin 8. email@example.com
MeSHAdrenal Cortex Hormones
Drug Therapy, Combination
Physician's Practice Patterns
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
MetadataShow full item record
CitationAn analysis of the utilisation and expenditure of medicines dispensed for the management of severe asthma. 2009, 102 (3):73-6 Ir Med J
JournalIrish medical journal
AbstractThere are approximately 6,300 people in Ireland with a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and with a fast growing elderly population the incidence of COPD is likely to increase. This study examines the prescribing patterns of medicines dispensed for the management Asthma/COPD in patients over the age of 35 years using the HSE-Primary Care Reimbursement Services (PCRS) prescribing databases. The HSE-PCRS pharmacy claims data, which covers all those over 70 years of age and means tested for those less than 70 years, was analysed for the years 2005/2006. Approximately 26,548 (17.9%) of patients who were prescribed a respiratory drug received inhaled short-acting beta2 agonists in combination with a regular standard-dose inhaled corticosteroid. A further 5,044 (3.4%) were also prescribed a regular inhaled long-acting beta2 agonist (salmeterol or formoterol). A total of 2506 patients (6.2%) on combination therapy were co-prescribed four different anti-asthmatic treatments inclusive of oral prednisolone. A small proportion of the patients prescribed a respiratory drug were co-prescribed nicotine replacement therapy (n = 5177, 3.5%). In total there were 9,728 (6.2%) patients prescribed a mucolytic drug in combination with a respiratory drug and the rate of co-prescribing with antibiotics was 22%. COPD is a debilitating disease that is primarily caused by smoking and is therefore largely preventable. The HSE-PCRS pharmacy claims data is a valuable tool for helping to assess the burden of this disease in the Irish context.
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