BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that despite the implementation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated label revisions to long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA)-containing drugs, the patient share among recently treated asthma patients of LABA/inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) combination drugs exceeded the patient share of single-agent ICS drugs in the fourth quarter of 2010. The label revisions seek to limit the use of LABA-containing drugs and state that physicians should attempt to step down patients to ICS therapies once asthma control is achieved.
According to Treatment Algorithms in Asthma, among newly diagnosed patients, a similar percentage are using LABA/ICS as are using single-agent ICS agents in the first line of maintenance therapy within a year of diagnosis.
“The FDA advises that fixed-dose combinations of LABAs and ICSs be reserved for patients whose asthma remains uncontrolled despite treatment with single-agent ICSs. The presence of similar patient shares for these two drug classes in the first line of therapy for newly diagnosed patients suggests physicians are comfortable using LABA/ICS combinations as a first-line maintenance therapy and may not always follow these guidelines,” said Decision Resources Analyst Amanda Puffer, M.Sc. “Additionally, specialists likely prefer the step-down approach to managing persistent asthmatics and will start an asthma patient on a LABA/ICS combination to control the disease and then back off treatment by returning to an ICS therapy.”
Enhanced Service and Platform Now Available
The analysis is part of Decision Resources’ enhanced Treatment Algorithms series, which features a new online platform. Interactive, user-friendly and with more graphical data views, the new platform enables users to easily toggle between diseases and time cohorts, which ultimately allows for more in-depth analysis on each line of therapy. Treatment Algorithms analysis is now updated quarterly to provide ongoing trending of product utilization by line of therapy and new therapy initiations. Through examination of U.S. patient-level claims data, Decision Resources’ Treatment Algorithms series provides exceptional insight into physicians’ prescribing trends, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.
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