Study on drug costs associated with COPD prescription medicine in Denmark

Authors


  • Authorship and contributorship

    Marie Jakobsen: designed study and wrote the first draft of the manuscript; Niels Anker: designed study, collected register data and performed statistical analyses; Jens Dollerup: designed study and obtained funding; Peter Bo Poulsen: designed study and obtained funding; Peter Lange: designed study All authors: revised critically the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Ethics

    Approval from an ethics committee was not required by Danish law.

  • Conflict of interest

    COWI has received funding from Pfizer Denmark ApS to conduct the research project and prepare the manuscript. Peter Lange has received fee for consulting from Pfizer in the present study. Peter Lange has furthermore received research grants from GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer; received fee for speaking from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithCline, Nycomed, Novartis; received fee for consulting from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithCline, Nycomed, Novartis, Allmirall and Mundipharma. Peter Bo Poulsen and Jens Dollerup are employees of Pfizer Denmark ApS.

Abstract

Introduction

Spirometric studies of the general population estimate that 430 000 Danes have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is mainly caused by smoking, and smoking cessation is the most important intervention to prevent disease progression. Cost-of-illness studies conclude that the costs associated with COPD in Denmark are significant, but costs of prescription medicine for COPD were not analysed.

Objectives

To analyse the societal costs associated with prescription medicine for COPD in Denmark.

Methods

The study was designed as a nationwide retrospective register study of the drug costs (ATC group R03) associated with COPD in the period 2001–2010. Data were retrieved from the Prescription Database, the National Patient Register and the Centralised Civil Register. The population comprised individuals (40+ years) who had at least one prescription of selected R03 drugs and who had been either hospitalised with a COPD diagnosis or had at least one prescription for drugs primarily used for COPD.

Results

The study population comprised 166 462 individuals of which 97 916 were alive on 31 December 2010. The average annual drug costs (R03) were DKK 7842 (EUR 1055) per patient in 2010 with total costs of DKK 685 million (EUR 92 million). The average lifetime costs associated with COPD prescription medicine were estimated to be DKK 70 000–75 000 (EUR 9416–10 089) per patient (2010 prices).

Conclusion

The costs associated with prescription medicine for COPD in Denmark are significant.

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