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Comparative Effectiveness Research Study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings Demonstrated Asthma Patients Had Better Overall Results with Oral Controllers than Inhaled Products
Date:8/26/2009

veys of more than 800 asthma patients from the same plans to evaluate potential differences in quality of life between the types of controller medications.

Both oral and inhaled treatments offered comparable impacts on patient-reported quality of life and productivity. Among patients taking more than one drug to control their asthma, HealthCore found that a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists were the best course of treatment in terms of better clinical outcomes and better quality of life.

In the group of patients who adhered to their medication, those taking leukotriene modifiers--oral asthma controllers--were more likely to have an emergency room or inpatient physician visit, less likely to use six or more short-acting beta agonist canisters and incurred higher annual costs. Those who were compliant with their inhaled corticosteroids had better outcomes than those who adhered to their oral controllers, but so few of those taking inhaled corticosteroids adhered properly to their medication that it had little impact on the overall population studied.

About the study

The observational study used administrative claims data obtained from eight geographically dispersed commercial health plans that represent approximately 17.5 million members. The study also included the following criteria:

  • The administrative data set consisted of integrated medical claims, pharmacy claims and eligibility files.
  • The study database was developed in compliance with the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.
  • Eligible patients were 18-64 years old with at least one medical claim with an ICD-9-CM code for asthma from Sept. 1, 2002 through Aug. 31, 2006 and at least one prescription claim for an asthma controller medication from Sept. 1, 2003 through Aug. 31, 2005.

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SOURCE HealthCore and WellPoint, Inc.
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