An analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics of asthma medication adherence showed poor coverage across a six-month period.

Researchers from the University of Utah and colleagues conducted a study to assess the level of adherence to controller asthma medications, as measured by refill rates, in a community pharmacy setting. Data from a community pharmacy dispensing database encompassing 15 locations in Utah included dispensing records of 2,193 patients who received controller asthma medications for in a 12-month period, and had a minimum of 6-month potential coverage from the date of their first receipt of a controller medication in that period.

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Study authors found overall poor coverage as measured by the proportion of days covered (PDC) and medication possession ratio (MPR) across the six-month period with less than 50% of days’ availability. When measuring ≥80% medication availability, only 14–16% of patients showed “satisfactory” adherence over their six-month period. Significantly higher satisfactory adherence was seen among women and older patients, and a higher adherence was also seen with inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta-2 agonist combinations vs. inhaled corticosteroids alone.

Study findings further highlight the public health problem of non-adherence to asthma therapy. Researchers call upon survey-based research tied to pharmacy-based dispensing data to analyze patient behavioral, attitudinal, and environmental factors that may affect this issue and evaluate possible interventions.

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