LOS ANGELES — Asthma-related annual costs were reportedly twice as high for patients receiving high oral corticosteroids compared with low oral corticosteroid users, according to recent study findings presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.
To evaluate whether high oral corticosteroid (OCS) use was associated with higher costs and health care resource use in patients with asthma, researcher Karina Raimundo, BPharm, MS, a health economist at Genentech Inc., and colleagues performed a cross-sectional retrospective study using commercial insurance claims filed during 2013.
Patients with 2 or more asthma claims, 2 or more asthma medications, EPR3 Step 4-6, and either high- or low-OCS use were considered to have moderate-to-severe persistent asthma. Those with COPD claims were excluded from the research.
Of those enrolled in the analysis, 2,320 met the inclusion criteria. Two hundred seventeen participants were high-OCS users and 2,130 were low-OCS users. Evaluated patients were similar in age (high users, 56.8 years; low users, 54.6 years) and sex distribution (high users, 71.4% women; low users, 64.9% women).
“We found that both total and asthma-related annual costs remained twice as high in the high OCS group and that health care resource use, such as hospitalization and office visits, was also significantly higher,” Raimundo told Healio.com/Allergy.
Overall, high-OCS users had more chronic and respiratory-related conditions, higher odds for hospitalization (95% all-cause; 95% asthma-related), and higher costs.
According to Raimundo “[High-OCS exposure] may be useful for identifying a group of patients with poor asthma control, who require numerous hospital and office visits, resulting in high health care expenditures.” – by Alaina Tedesco
Reference: Raimundo K, et al. Abstract 15. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting; March 4-7, 2016; Los Angeles.
Disclosure: This study was sponsored by Genentech. Raimundo reports employment with Genentech. The other researchers report funding from Genentech.