Oral asthma controllers more effective than inhalers

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Washington, Aug 26 (ANI): Asthmatic patients are more likely to benefit from oral controllers than inhalers, say Mayo clinic researchers.

"Clinical superiority of the inhaled products has been well documented in clinical trials and the HealthCore study confirmed this for those who take their medication properly," said Dr. Joseph Singer, vice president of clinical affairs for HealthCore, the outcomes research subsidiary for WellPoint, Inc.

"However, we were surprised to discover that in looking at all patients in real-world settings, oral controllers appeared to be a better choice of treatment because of better compliance.

"Patients with the best outcomes were those who were compliant with inhaled corticosteroids," he added.

During the study, researchers looked at 55, 000 patients from eight health plans who had used at least one of six types of asthma controller medications between 2003 and 2005.

Both oral and inhaled treatments offered comparable impacts on patient-reported quality of life and productivity.

Among patients taking more than one drug to control their asthma, HealthCore found that a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists were the best course of treatment in terms of better clinical outcomes and better quality of life.

In the group of patients who adhered to their medication, those taking leukotriene modifiers-oral asthma controllers-were more likely to have an emergency room or inpatient physician visit, less likely to use six or more short-acting beta agonist canisters and incurred higher annual costs.

"It's important for physicians and health plans alike to know that 'one size fits all' does not apply when treating asthma patients," said Singer.

"These results speak to the power of comparative effectiveness research and its ability to give physicians the information they need to customize treatment for patients in the real world," he added. (ANI)

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