Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the non-adherence level of Spanish clinical practice to guideline recommendations for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to estimate the potential impact on pharmaceutical expenditure resulting from transitioning current treatment patterns according to guidelines. Methods: A model was developed to compare current prescribing patterns with two alternative scenarios: the first aligned with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD 2020) recommendations, and the second with the Spanish Guidelines for COPD (GesEPOC 2017). Current treatment practice was obtained from publications that describe treatment patterns by pulmonology departments in Spain. The economic impact between patterns was calculated from the perspective of the Spanish National Health System (NHS), considering the annual pharmacological costs of COPD inhaled maintenance therapy. Two additional analyses were performed: one that included current prescribing patterns of patients managed by pulmonology and primary care centers in Spain (published aggregated data); and another that only considered the appropriate use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) treatment according to guidelines. Results: It was estimated that 54% and 38% of patients were not treated in line with GOLD and GesEPOC recommendations, respectively, mainly due to a broader use of ICS-based therapies. Adapting treatment to recommendations could provide a potential annual cost-saving of € 17,792,022 (according to GOLD) and € 5,881,785 (according to GesEPOC). In scenario analysis 1, a 26% of non-adherence to GesEPOC guideline was observed with a potential annual pharmacological cost-saving of € 2,707,554. In scenario analysis 2, considering only inappropriate use of ICS treatment, an annual cost-saving of € 17,863,750 (according to GOLD) and € 9,904,409 (according to GesEPOC) was calculated. Conclusion: More than a third of treatments for COPD patients in Spain are not prescribed in accordance with guideline recommendations. The adaptation of clinical practice to guideline recommendations could provide important cost-savings for the Spanish NHS.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Recommendations; Treatment
Miravitlles M, Solé A, Aguilar H, Ampudia A, Costa-Samarra J, Mallén-Alberdi M, et al. Economic Impact of Low Adherence to COPD Management Guidelines in Spain. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021 Nov 16;16:3131–43.
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