Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Additional Risk Minimization Measure to Reduce the Risk of Prescribing Mirabegron to Patients with Severe Uncontrolled Hypertension in Four European Countries

Clin Epidemiol. 2020 May 1:12:423-433. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S242065. eCollection 2020.


Background: Mirabegron, indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder, is contraindicated in patients with severe uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥180 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥110 mm Hg). In September 2015, a Direct Healthcare Professional Communication (DHPC) letter was disseminated as an additional risk minimisation measure.

Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of the DHPC in reducing the proportions of patients with severe or non-severe uncontrolled hypertension at mirabegron initiation.

Methods: An observational multi-database cohort study was undertaken using routinely collected healthcare data (December 2012-December 2016) from the PHARMO Database Network (Netherlands), SIDIAP database (Spain), CPRD (United Kingdom, UK) and national healthcare registers and electronic medical records from Finland. DHPC effectiveness was evaluated using interrupted time series analyses comparing trends and changes in monthly proportions of severe or non-severe uncontrolled hypertensive mirabegron initiations relative to the timing of the DHPC dissemination.

Results: The study population comprised 52,078 patients. Prior to DHPC dissemination, across the four databases, 0.3-1.3% had severe uncontrolled hypertension. Estimated absolute changes (EAC) in proportions of severe uncontrolled hypertension post-DHPC indicated a tendency towards a lower proportion in the Netherlands (EAC -0.36%, p=0.053), unchanged proportions in Spain and the UK and a higher proportion in Finland (EAC +0.73%, p=0.016). For non-severe uncontrolled hypertension (13-16% pre-DHPC), post-DHPC proportions tended to be lower in the Netherlands (EAC -2.02%, p=0.038) and Spain (EAC -1.04%, p=0.071), and unchanged in the UK and Finland.

Conclusion: Severe uncontrolled hypertension prior to mirabegron initiation was uncommon in these four European countries even before DHPC dissemination. This suggests that other risk minimisation communications (prior to the DHPC dissemination) had worked adequately with respect to minimising mirabegron use among patients with severe uncontrolled hypertension. No strong and consistent evidence of further risk minimisation after the DHPC dissemination was observed in this study.

Keywords: direct healthcare professional communication; drug utilisation study; interrupted time series analysis; risk minimization.

Grants and funding

This post-authorisation safety study was funded by Astellas Pharma, the market authorisation holder of mirabegron. Astellas Pharma was involved in all stages of this study from protocol development to submission of the manuscript.