Refill adherence for patients with asthma and COPD: comparison of a pharmacy record database with manually collected repeat prescriptions

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2007 Apr;16(4):441-8. doi: 10.1002/pds.1321.


Purpose: To compare refill adherence data based on two different methods of data capturing, that is, manually collected repeat prescriptions and a pharmacy record database.

Methods: The study comprised a comparison of adherence data from manually collected repeat prescriptions of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) drugs with fixed dosages dispensed in 2002 and the corresponding data from a pharmacy record database. Data were collected in the county of Jämtland in Sweden. Refill adherence was calculated for the different collection methods.

Results: Data from 285 manually collected repeat prescriptions for asthma/COPD drugs for 2002 showed that 35% of the prescribings had been satisfactory refilled, while 42% showed an undersupply and 23% an oversupply. The pharmacy record database had 490 prescribings for asthma/COPD drugs registered in 2002, 28% of these had a satisfactory refill adherence, while 43% showed an undersupply, and 29% an oversupply. Based on the database it could be shown that 11% of the individuals had used more than one repeat prescription of the same medicine during 2002. Based on the pharmacy record database for 1999-2002, it was shown that 29% of the prescribings had been satisfactory refilled whereas undersupply increased (53%) and oversupply decreased (18%) as compared to the 1-year data.

Conclusions: Refill adherence determined from manually collected repeat prescriptions and from a pharmacy record database did not differ for a 1-year period. Four-year data might give a better overview of patients' refill adherence than 1-year data.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Databases as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents