Research Examines Economic Burden in Patients with Severe Asthma

In a July, 2016, article in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, researchers sought to explore the economic burden of illness in patients with severe asthma. The study consisted of a total of 65,359 patients “aged ≥ 12 years who had at least 1 medical claim with an asthma diagnosis in 2012 and had continuous medical and pharmacy coverage under a commercial or Medicare Advantage plan from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013.” These patients were then separated into persistent and severe asthma cohorts. Researchers then computed health care utilization and costs using medical claims and medication use for a year.

After analyzing the results, the severe asthma cohort had a greater mean count of medications filled, as well as a greater mean use of oral and inhaled controller therapy. In addition, the severe cohort had a significantly higher “count of asthma-related hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and ambulatory visits.” The researchers concluded that patients in the sever cohort had “2.9-fold higher adjusted asthma-related costs and 3-fold higher adjusted asthma medication costs,” and also “consistently demonstrated a higher rate of health care utilization.”

To view the article’s abstract, click here.