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Study Measures Real-World Comparative Effectiveness of Asthma Controller Medications
Date:7/8/2008

WellPoint's Health Outcomes Subsidiary HealthCore Finds Optimal Outcomes Can Be Achieved Through Compliant Use of Orally Administered Controllers

INDIANAPOLIS, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Compliance with inhaled medications for asthma can improve clinical outcomes, as measured by reduced emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, according to a retrospective study conducted by HealthCore, Inc., the health outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. This study shows that the best outcomes were achieved by members who were compliant with inhaled corticosteroids, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) preferred therapy for patients with moderate to severe and severe asthma. However, the study identified that the majority of patients who took inhaled medications were less compliant than those taking oral medications, which may have led to less optimal clinical outcomes. HealthCore recently presented the study comparing the effectiveness of various asthma controller medications for patients at the American Thoracic Society's international conference in Toronto, Ontario.

Using administrative data and patient-reported outcomes, HealthCore evaluated the impact of the various therapeutic classes of controller medications used to treat persistent asthma. When taken in a compliant manner, the inhaled corticosteroids were shown to provide the highest value for the treatment of asthma. In the group of patients who were compliant with their inhaled corticosteroid regimen, the overall cost of care, emergency room utilization and inpatient hospitalizations were the lowest. In this analysis, patients in the oral asthma controller group were more likely to have inpatient and emergency room visits (OR=1.74; range: 1.02-2.99), and higher total health care costs ($235/yr). Study findings revealed that patient compliance with prescribed therapies is a critical part of successfully managing asthma, and that compliance was higher with me
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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