Prescribing Patterns for Long-Acting Inhaled Bronchodilators Among Rural Adults With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Wendy M. Brunner, Nadir Siddiqui, Melissa B. Scribani, Nicole L. Krupa, Erik Riesenfeld


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is prevalent in rural areas of the USA. Long-acting inhaled bronchodilators (LABDs) are a key tool in COPD management and are underutilized. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rates of prescriptions for LABD differed by payer among patients with COPD in a rural healthcare network.

Methods: In analysis 1, a random sample of patients with spirometry- and symptom-confirmed COPD over April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019 was identified. Patient characteristics, including payer status, extracted from medical records were compared for those who did and did not have any prescriptions for LABD during the study window. In analysis 2, patients with one or more COPD-related hospitalizations during the same time period were identified and similar comparisons were made by LABD prescription status.

Results: Among a random sample of patients with spirometry-confirmed COPD, 93.0% had been prescribed LABD during the study window with no difference in proportion by payer. Among the 461 patients with a COPD-related hospitalization, 388 (84.2%) had been prescribed LABD, again with no difference in prescriptions by payer. Those with a COPD-related hospitalization who had been prescribed LABD were younger, had lower body mass index, were more likely to be current smokers and had higher rates of hospitalizations for COPD during the study period than those not prescribed LABD.

Conclusion: While disparities in LABD utilization may occur due to cost or other barriers to filling prescriptions, in our study, prescriptions for LABD were common and did not differ by payer status.

J Clin Med Res. 2022;14(9):388-393


Long-acting antimuscarinics; Long-acting beta2-agonists; Prescriptions; Rural; Payer

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