Objective: Although current National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines indicate low-dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) monotherapy as the preferred treatment for patients with mild persistent asthma, many patients receive ICS and long-acting beta(2)-agonist (LABA) combinations. The objective of the current study was to evaluate asthma-related charges in patients with mild asthma who began treatment with mometasone furoate (MF) versus those who began treatment with a fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FPS) combination.
Research design and methods: This retrospective administrative claims database analysis collected data from the 365-day periods before (preindex period) and after (postindex period) the study index date from patients with mild asthma aged 12 to 65 years who began treatment with MF or FPS. Asthma-related inpatient, outpatient, pharmaceutical, and total charges; exacerbations; short-acting beta(2)-agonist (SABA) canister claims; and adherence to therapy were assessed. Matched cohorts of MF and FPS patients were compared using multivariate generalized linear regression models.
Results: Among matched MF (n = 4094) and FPS (n = 4094) cohorts, MF patients had significantly lower postindex asthma-related total charges ($2136 vs $2315, respectively; P = 0.0003), lower pharmaceutical charges ($727 vs $925, respectively; P < 0.0001), fewer exacerbations (0.14 vs 0.16, respectively; P = 0.0306), fewer SABA canister claims (0.9 vs 1.0, respectively; P < 0.0001), and greater adherence measured by prescription fills (3.0 vs 2.8, respectively; P < 0.0001). Asthma-related inpatient charges, outpatient charges, and adherence measured by percent of days covered were not significantly different between treatment cohorts. Limitations included a lack of additional ICS and ICS/LABA therapies, a lack of pediatric patients, and the general limitations associated with retrospective database analyses (e.g., no patient records).
Conclusions: These data suggest that MF may be more cost-effective than FPS for the treatment of mild asthma. To effectively and efficiently manage asthma, it is important for clinicians to follow current NAEPP guidelines, which indicate ICS monotherapy as preferred treatment for mild persistent asthma.