Refill adherence for patients with asthma and COPD: comparison of a pharmacy record database with manually collected repeat prescriptions


  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. This manuscript has not previously been published or in any part been submitted for publication.



To compare refill adherence data based on two different methods of data capturing, that is, manually collected repeat prescriptions and a pharmacy record database.


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.


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.


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. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.