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SABCS: Many Patients Don't Adhere to Anastrozole Therapy

Researchers find that one in five patients may be suboptimally adherent to hormonal therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- During the first year of treatment for early-stage breast cancer, one in five women may not be fully adherent to adjuvant anastrozole therapy, according to research presented this week at the 29th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Ann Partridge, M.D., M.P.H., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues analyzed claims data on more than 7,000 women enrolled in three large commercial health plan systems.

The researchers found that 85 percent (1,275) of the 1,498 women in one health plan were still filling anastrozole prescriptions a year after the drug was first prescribed, but not necessarily on a regular basis. Of the 1,111 women who had been enrolled in the plan for 12 consecutive months, they found that 211 (19 percent) were non-adherent. Of the 158 women with 36 months of continuous eligibility, they found that 22 percent were non-adherent during the first year and 32 percent were non-adherent during the third year.

"These findings are consistent with studies evaluating adherence with adjuvant tamoxifen therapy," the authors conclude. "Clinicians who care for women with early-stage breast cancer should be aware that adherence with hormonal therapy may be a problem."

The research was funded in part by AstraZeneca.


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