Real-life effectiveness and safety of the inhalation suspension budesonide comparator vs the originator product for the treatment of patients with asthma: a historical cohort study using a US health claims database

Pragmat Obs Res. 2017 May 18;8:69-83. doi: 10.2147/POR.S132839. eCollection 2017.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether the effectiveness of budesonide comparator is non-inferior to budesonide reference in the prevention of asthma exacerbations. Asthma-related hospitalizations and safety were also examined.

Methods: This study used a matched, historic cohort design. Data were drawn from the Clinformatics™ Data Mart US claims database and included a 1-year baseline, starting 1 year before the index prescription date, and a 1-year outcome period. Patients received budesonide comparator or reference treatment. The primary outcome was the rate of asthma exacerbations. Non-inferiority for budesonide comparator vs budesonide reference was established if the 95% confidence interval (CI) upper limit of mean difference in proportions between treatments was <15%. Secondary outcomes examined rate of asthma-related hospitalizations and adverse events (AEs).

Results: The budesonide comparator and reference-matched cohorts each included 3109 patients. The adjusted upper 95% CI for the difference in proportions of patients experiencing asthma exacerbations was 0.035 (3.5%), demonstrating non-inferiority. Cohorts did not significantly differ in the rate of asthma exacerbations (adjusted rate ratio [RR]=1.04, 95% CI: 0.95-1.14) or rate of asthma-related hospitalizations (adjusted RR=1.10, 95% CI: 0.99-1.24) after adjusting for baseline confounders. No asthma exacerbations occurred during the outcome period in 72.9% of budesonide comparator patients and 71.8% of budesonide reference patients. No asthma-related hospitalizations occurred in 77.9% of patients in the budesonide comparator cohort and 79.0% of patients in the budesonide reference cohort. The most frequent AEs were throat irritation (≤0.4% of patients) and hoarseness/dysphonia (0.02% of patients). AEs did not significantly differ between treatment cohorts.

Conclusion: In this real-life study, non-inferiority of the budesonide comparator vs reference was met for the primary end point of asthma exacerbation rates. Asthma-related hospitalization and AE rates did not differ between the two treatment cohorts. The budesonide comparator is an effective and safe treatment alternative for asthma exacerbations.

Keywords: asthma control; asthma medication; exacerbation; generic/therapeutic use; hospitalization.