Background Asthma and COPD are chronic diseases of the airways characterised by variable and recurring symptoms, airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. The progressive increase in incidence and prevalence has increased significally care related costs, with a specific contribution of R03AK drugs especially for the Local Health Authority (LHA) of Messina, Italy.
Purpose This study was carried out to evaluate the incidence and cost of use of drugs with ATC R03AK06-R03AK07 in order to assess prescribing patterns in the LHA between January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010 comparing them with those recorded in the same LHA in 2009 and in Sicily and Italy in 2010.
Materials and methods Data were collected from the database ‘Farmanalisi.it’ that includes all prescriptions reimbursed by the LHA of Messina and compared to Sicilian and Italian one. All consumption data have been expressed as units/1000 inhabitants and costs as euro/1000 inhabitants.
Results Local data are higher than Sicilian and National ones. The annual use of association salmeterol & other drugs (R03AK06) decreased from 91.05 units/1000 inhabitants in 2009 to 88.5/1000 inhabitants in 2010 but still remains the most frequently prescribed association followed by salbutamol & other drugs (R03AK07) with 55.46 units/1000 inhabitants (vs 51.91 units/inhabitants in 2009). In the evaluated period treated patients were mostly males (52,56%) mainly over 75 years. For LHA, in 2010, direct cost for evaluated drugs were 8309€/1000 inhabitants (vs 8351€/1000 inhabitants in 2009) about 20% higher than the value reported in Sicily and Italy.
Conclusions Data obtained confirm that pharmacological treatments for asthma and COPD diseases do represent one of the areas where a closer monitoring of direct cost, as well of the appropriateness of prescription is needed because both values are higher than Sicilian and Italian values. Presentation of drugs consumption is one of the activities of Pharmaceutical Department and, also, the basis for communication among healthcare providers, such as General Practitioners, in order to improve appropriate prescribing policies.
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