Introduction Adherence to and persistence with long-term treatment with oral anticoagulants play a significant role in preventing adverse events and mortality in patients with cardiac conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adherence, persistence and switching rate at 3 years in real-life patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation receiving treatment with first-line new oral anticoagulants.
Methods The study assessed all patients treated with drugs with the ATC codes B01AA, B01AE, B01AF and dispensed in pharmacies in the Lanciano-Vasto-Chieti and Pescara Local Health Units from 1 January 2011 to 30 September 2021. Adherence was calculated as the proportion of days covered; persistence was calculated as the difference in days between the start and end of treatment; and the switching rate was calculated as the difference in days between the start of treatment and the switch.
Results A total of 4270 patients were analysed. The absolute adherence figure at 3 years was 0.85. The lowest adherence levels were found in patients treated with dabigatran with an absolute value of 0.72, while the highest levels were found in patients treated with rivaroxaban with an absolute value at 3 years of 0.88. The persistence curves at 3 years of treatment with dabigatran showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.0001) compared with those of rivaroxaban and apixaban.
Conclusions The data collected over a 3-year period showed that adherence and persistence levels and switch data were optimal and comparable in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation receiving treatment with either rivaroxaban or apixaban. In contrast, patients treated with dabigatran had worrying adherence and persistence levels.
- drug administration routes
- education, pharmacy
- pharmacy administration
- quality of health care
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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