Asthma, COPD Medication Adherence Up During Pandemic

Authors say increased adherence may reflect patient concern about controlling primary respiratory illness.

HealthDay News – Medication adherence for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online May 3 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Leanne Kaye, PhD, from ResMed in San Francisco, and colleagues analyzed adherence to controller inhaler use for 7578 patients (77% asthma; 67% female; median age, 40.0 years) for the first seven days of January 2020 compared with the last seven days of March 2020. Data were collected from electronic medication monitors using the digital platform Propeller Health.

When adjusting for age, the researchers found no clinically meaningful differences in adherence for patients with asthma or COPD. During the last week of March, more than 53% of patients achieved ≥75% adherence to controller medications, a 14.9% increase from the first week of January. Previously reported changes in adherence by month have been noted.

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“Although we cannot definitively state the cause of the improvement in adherence, the trend may be reflective of patients responding to national COVID-19 guidelines and to patient concern about controlling their primary respiratory illness with their controller medications,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Propeller Health, an affiliate of ResMed.

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