OBJECTIVE: To determine medication possession ratio (MPR) of patients with asthma/COPD drugs. METHOD: Individual patient's volumes of asthma/COPD drugs (ATC-code R03) for 2000-2004 were obtained from a pharmacy record database. For each patient the MPR was calculated as the percentage of the treatment time that the patient had drugs available. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Medication possession ratio (MPR). RESULTS: A total of 1,812 patients, 20 years and older, with dispensed asthma/COPD drugs were registered in the database, 928 patients (51%) had acquired drugs less than once per year (68% for 20-29 years old) during the 5-year study. Only 13% of the patients had steroids and steroid combinations available to allow continuous treatment. Eight percent of the patients 20-29 years old had MPR > or = 80% of all the included drugs and 5% when only steroids and steroid combinations were considered. About 25% of the patients had acquired 80% of the total volume of asthma/COPD drugs. CONCLUSION: The majority of the patients, and particularly those in the youngest age group used asthma/COPD drugs only sporadically. This may indicate undermedication which is likely to have a negative impact on patient outcome.
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.