Rx Compliance Keeps Asthmatics Out of Hospitals

The more closely asthmatics adhere to regimen, the less likely they are to require emergency department visits

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Asthmatics who adhere to their controller medication regimens are less likely to visit hospital emergency departments than less-compliant patients, researchers report in the September issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Lee Stern, M.S., of Analytica International in New York City, and colleagues analyzed the relationship between medication adherence and emergency visits for 97,743 asthmatics with controller medication prescriptions who were in a managed care database. Compliance was measured by the number of prescriptions filled in 365-day period (2 or more prescriptions through 6 or more prescriptions).

Compared with less-compliant patients, asthmatics who took controller medication as directed had a significantly lower risk of exacerbation, which was defined as needing one or more hospitalizations or emergency visits within a year of first index controller medication prescription. As the compliance criteria became more stringent, the gap between emergency department visits among more-compliant and less-compliant patients increased, the report indicates.

"More-compliant asthmatic patients were significantly less likely to experience exacerbation than less-compliant asthmatic patients," the authors write. "These findings demonstrate the importance of improving medication compliance among asthmatic patients to impact outcomes."

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