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

mbers taking oral medications, particularly among children.

"While there is considerable controlled trial data on asthma controller medications, we sought to provide a more complete picture of how these therapies work for patients in their everyday lives," said Sam Nussbaum, M.D., WellPoint chief medical officer and executive vice president. "Evidence-based interventions in the treatment of asthma will benefit patients. Most significantly, real-world clinical research can help doctors decrease the negative impact of asthma on patients, allowing them to lead fuller, more productive lives."

According to a 2005 study on the burden of uncontrolled asthma, the illness takes a considerable economic toll on the U.S. health care system, costing an estimated $12.7 billion in 2002. Based on 2006 data, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 16.1 million adults and 6.8 million children in the U.S. currently have asthma. While consensus guidelines have been developed to optimally manage asthma, HealthCore's data provide real-world evidence on which of these therapies and combinations can offer the best outcomes and improve overall quality of life for patients with mild, moderate and severe persistent asthma.

HealthCore undertook this study based upon a recommendation from WellPoint's National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, an independent body of physicians, clinicians, and pharmacists who advise WellPoint on its formulary decisions. To complete its study, HealthCore retrospectively analyzed the medical and pharmacy claims data of more than 55,000 patients from eight U.S. health plans who had used one of six types of asthma controller medications between 2003 and 2005. These data were integrated with quality of life surveys of more than 800 asthma patients from the same plans to evaluate potential differences in quality of life between the types of controller medications. The study was conducted in collaboration with a scient
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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