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Rottenkolber M.,Institute for Medical Information science | Voogd E.,University Utrecht | Voogd E.,Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research | van Dijk L.,University Utrecht | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Inhaled, long-acting beta-2-adrenoceptor agonists (LABA) have well-established roles in asthma and/or COPD treatment. Drug utilisation patterns for LABA have been described, but few studies have directly compared LABA use in different countries. We aimed to compare the prevalence of LABA-containing prescriptions in five European countries using a standardised methodology. Methods: A common study protocol was applied to seven European healthcare record databases (Denmark, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands (2), and the UK (2)) to calculate crude and age- and sex-standardised annual period prevalence rates (PPRs) of LABA-containing prescriptions from 2002-2009. Annual PPRs were stratified by sex, age, and indication (asthma, COPD, asthma and COPD). Results: From 2002-2009, age- and sex-standardised PPRs of patients with LABA-containing medications increased in all databases (58.2%-185.1%). Highest PPRs were found in men ≥ 80 years old and women 70-79 years old. Regarding the three indications, the highest ageand sex-standardised PPRs in all databases were found in patients with "asthma and COPD" but with large inter-country variation. In those with asthma or COPD, lower PPRs and smaller inter-country variations were found. For all three indications, PPRs for LABAcontaining prescriptions increased with age. Conclusions: Using a standardised protocol that allowed direct inter-country comparisons, we found highest rates of LABA-containing prescriptions in elderly patients and distinct differences in the increased utilisation of LABA-containing prescriptions within the study period throughout the five European countries. © 2015 Rottenkolber et al.

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