Researchers in the United Kingdom conducted a study that showed the high costs and burdens of COPD treatments and the low rates of patient adherence.

For the analysis, the researchers included the variables of healthcare resource use, costs, and symptom burden up to 24 months after treatment initiation. Adherence in the follow-up period was assessed using the medication possession ratio (MPR ?80 %).

The researchers determined that less than half the patients adhered to their index medication. Among adherent patients, the total annual per patient cost of COPD was about $4,500 (£3008) for LAMA initiators, $4,150 (£2783) for LABA initiators and $5,000 (£3376) for LABA+ICS initiators. These results were mainly due to general practitioner interactions.

The results further revealed that among patients with a Medical Research Council dyspnea score recorded during a 24-month follow-up, a substantial proportion of adherent patients (LAMA: 41 %; LABA: 45 %; LABA+ICS 44 %) had clinically significant dyspnoea (MRC???3).

Based on the results the researchers concluded that among patients initiating maintenance treatment for COPD, adherence to the index medication was low. Many adherent patients were symptomatic across all examined long-acting bronchodilator classes.

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