Nagar S, Patel J, Stanford RH. Characteristics and health care resource use of subjects with COPD in the year before initiating LAMA monotherapy or LAMA+LABA combination therapy: a U.S. database study. Manag Care. 2018 May;27(5):40-7.

PURPOSE: To characterize subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) newly initiated on long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) or dual LAMA/long-acting β2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) therapy.

DESIGN: This pilot/preliminary analysis was a retrospective crosssectional study of subjects with COPD from the Optum Impact National Managed Care Benchmark Database.

METHODOLOGY: Subjects with at least one LAMA prescription in the index period (July 2008-June 2009) were included and stratified by treatment. Data were collected in the year before the index date and included comorbidities, medication use, COPD-related costs, health care resource use, and exacerbations.

RESULTS: Of 5,311 eligible subjects, 2,057 initiated LAMA therapy (LAMA cohort) and 191 initiated LAMA+LABA therapy (LAMA+LABA cohort). The Charlson comorbidity index was slightly lower in the LAMA+LABA cohort than the LAMA cohort (mean±SD: 0.63±1.13 vs. 0.66±1.28), but the number of prescriptions was higher (mean±SD: 42.9±23.2 vs. 30.5±27.2). The LAMA+LABA cohort had higher short-acting inhaled β2 agonist (56.0% vs. 35.7%), oral corticosteroid (37.7% vs. 32.6%), and home oxygen therapy use (14.1% vs. 3.2%) than the LAMA cohort. Total medical costs were greater in the LAMA+LABA cohort than the LAMA cohort (mean±SD: $3,320.40±4085.9 vs. $1,226.20±3602.9), although emergency department ($11.00±66.8 vs. $30.70±259.2) and outpatient visit ($39.60±163.1 vs. $41.70±424.3) costs were lower. Resource use and exacerbation incidence were similar between cohorts.

In this first look, subjects with COPD initiating LAMA or LAMA+LABA therapy exhibited different clinical and resource use characteristics in the year before treatment. Subjects receiving LAMA+LABA were older, with higher COPD co-medication use, more prescriptions, and associated higher pharmacy costs compared with subjects initiating LAMA. These differences may reflect a higher severity of COPD in those starting LABA+LAMA treatment.

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