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(1/2185) Oral contraceptive use: interview data versus pharmacy records.

BACKGROUND: If women tend to forget and underreport their past oral contraceptive (OC) use, but the recall among cases is enhanced by the presence of disease, recall bias may explain some reported health effects of OC use. METHODS: Two different sources of information on lifetime OC use were compared for 427 (84%) of a community-based sample of 511 women aged 20-34: (i) structured interviews, using a life event calendar and picture display as memory aids, and (ii) a register of all prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies in the county since 1970. RESULTS: Interview data and pharmacy records showed high levels of agreement for any OC use, current use, time since first and last use, total duration of use, and for duration of use in different 'time windows'. But there was a tendency to under-report specific kinds of OC used in the past. CONCLUSION: Underreporting of OC use among non-cases would usually introduce little or no bias (as compared to pharmacy records) for this kind of interview and women. However, it may be preferable to use interviews for current OC use, and pharmacy records for specific kinds of OC used in the past.  (+info)

(2/2185) Can restrictions on reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs decrease Medicaid pharmacy costs without increasing hospitalizations?

OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of a policy restricting reimbursement for Medicaid anti-ulcer drugs on anti-ulcer drug use and peptic-related hospitalizations. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: In addition to U.S. Census Bureau data, all of the following from Florida: Medicaid anti-ulcer drug claims data, 1989-1993; Medicaid eligibility data, 1989-1993; and acute care nonfederal hospital discharge abstract data (Medicaid and non-Medicaid), 1989-1993. STUDY DESIGN: In this observational study, a Poisson multiple regression model was used to compare changes, after policy implementation, in Medicaid reimbursement for prescription anti-ulcer drugs as well as hospitalization rates between pre- and post-implementation periods in Medicaid versus non-Medicaid patients hospitalized with peptic ulcer disease. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Following policy implementation, the rate of Medicaid reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs decreased 33 percent (p < .001). No associated increase occurred in the rate of Medicaid peptic-related hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Florida's policy restricting Medicaid reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs was associated with a substantial reduction in outpatient anti-ulcer drug utilization without any significant increase in the rate of hospitalization for peptic-related conditions.  (+info)

(3/2185) Availability of immune globulin intravenous for treatment of immune deficient patients--United States, 1997-1998.

Immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) is a lifesaving treatment for patients with primary immunodeficiency. Since November 1997, a shortage of IGIV has existed in the United States. In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required pharmaceutical companies to increase the frequency of reporting on IGIV distribution from biannually to monthly; in addition, FDA facilitated IGIV distribution and informed clinicians about the ongoing shortage. To assess the impact of the IGIV shortage on patient care, in 1998 the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) surveyed physicians caring for immunodeficient patients about whether they have had difficulty obtaining IGIV, measures they have taken because of the shortage, and the effect of the shortage on their patients. This report summarizes data reported to FDA and data obtained from the IDF survey and provides recommendations for IGIV use during the shortage.  (+info)

(4/2185) Agreement between drug treatment data and a discharge diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in the elderly.

The authors examined agreement between drug treatment data and a discharge diagnosis of diabetes, considered whether agreement was modified by demographic variables and measures of comorbidity, and evaluated construct validity through consideration of relations with subsequent mortality. The study sample comprised 81,700 residents of New Jersey aged 65-99 years who had prescription drug coverage either through Medicaid or that state's Pharmacy Assistance for the Aged and Disabled program and had at least one hospitalization between July 1, 1989, and June 30, 1991. In this population, 16.4% filled a prescription for insulin or an oral hypoglycemic agent during the 120 days before admission, and 16.3% had a discharge diagnosis of diabetes. Overall agreement between these two indicators was modest (kappa = 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.67) and was weaker in those aged 85 years and above (kappa = 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.60), those in nursing homes (kappa = 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.39-0.44), and those with a high level of comorbidity (modified Charlson index > or =5; kappa = 0.59, 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.62). Presence of a diagnosis of diabetes was associated with an apparent 24% reduction in the risk of death during the study interval (p<0.001), while prior treatment for diabetes had little relation to mortality (p = 0.15). These paradoxical associations with mortality and the lower agreement between discharge diagnoses and drug treatments associated with older age, nursing home residence, and comorbidity suggest limitations in the use of claims data to identify diabetes in the elderly.  (+info)

(5/2185) Financial incentives and drug spending in managed care.

This study estimates the impact of patient financial incentives on the use and cost of prescription drugs in the context of differing physician payment mechanisms. A large data set was developed that covers persons in managed care who pay varying levels of cost sharing and whose physicians are compensated under two different models: independent practice association (IPA)-model and network-model health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Our results indicate that higher patient copayments for prescription drugs are associated with lower drug spending in IPA models (in which physicians are not at risk for drug costs) but have little effect in network models (in which physicians bear financial risk for all prescribing behavior).  (+info)

(6/2185) Who bears the burden of Medicaid drug copayment policies?

This DataWatch examines the impact of Medicaid prescription drug copayment policies in thirty-eight states using survey data from the 1992 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Findings indicate that elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients who reside in states with copay provisions have significantly lower rates of drug use than their counterparts in states without copayments. After controlling for other factors, we find that the primary effect of copayments is to reduce the likelihood that Medicaid recipients fill any prescription during the year. This burden falls disproportionately on recipients in poor health.  (+info)

(7/2185) Prescription of acid-suppressing drugs in relation to endoscopic diagnosis: a record-linkage study.

BACKGROUND: Although widely used, few data are available on the appropriateness of prescribing of acid-suppressing drugs (ASDs), despite guidelines on the investigation and treatment of dyspeptic patients. METHODS: We created a database of 62 000 endoscopy examinations and record-linked these to a prescribing database. Endoscopic diagnoses were classified into peptic, nonpeptic and others. The H2-antagonists, omeprazole and misoprostol, were studied. RESULTS: 35 000 patients had one or more endoscopies during 1978-93; two-thirds were over 45 years of age at first endoscopy. A quarter of all patients who had been endoscoped had consistently normal examinations. Peptic oesophageal pathology was the commonest positive finding. A quarter of those prescribed ASDs between 1989 and 1993 had been endoscoped between 1978 and 1993. In those with a peptic diagnosis prescribed any ASD, the pathologies found were: oesophageal (42.9%), duodenal (36.3%) and gastro-pyloric (21.3%). Patients prescribed omeprazole were more likely to have undergone endoscopy than those prescribed other ASDs, and they were also more likely to have peptic oesophageal pathology. Long-term prescribing (>56 days per year) occurred in two-thirds of patients prescribed ASDs and 40% had at least one endoscopy. In those prescribed short-term ASDs, 20% had undergone at least one endoscopy. Peptic and nonpeptic endoscopic pathology was associated with increased ASD prescribing, but a normal endoscopy did not reduce prescribing. CONCLUSION: ASD prescribing appeared to be mainly symptom-driven. Positive endoscopic findings increased the prescribing of ASDs, but normal findings did not reduce it.  (+info)

(8/2185) Impact of an interest in asthma on prescribing costs in general practice.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect on total prescribing costs and prescribing costs for respiratory drugs for practices with at least one general practitioner with a special interest in asthma. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire survey. SETTING: General practitioners in England and Wales. SUBJECTS: 269 members of the General Practitioners in Asthma Group, of whom 103 agreed to participate. MAIN MEASURES: Individual practitioners' and their practices' PACT prescribing costs from the winter quarters of 1989-90 compared with average costs for their family health services authority (FHSA) and a notional national average of all FHSAs combined. RESULTS: The response rate was 57%; the average total prescribing costs for the practices of the 59 respondents were significantly lower than those of their respective FHSAs (mean difference 505 pounds per 1000 patients per quarter (95% confidence interval -934.0 to -76.2, p = 0.022) and lower than the national average. The average prescribing costs for respiratory drugs for the practices were significantly greater than those for their FHSA (195 pounds per 1000 patients per quarter (84.4 to 306.0, p = 0.001) and the national average. Both types of costs varied widely. CONCLUSION: An interest in asthma care in general practice is associated with higher average prescribing costs for respiratory drugs but no increase in overall prescribing costs compared with those for respective FHSAs and national averages. IMPLICATIONS: FHSAs and their medical advisors should not examine high prescribing costs for individual doctors or one therapeutic category but in the context of practice total costs.  (+info)