DATA SOURCES: We conducted a systematic review of PubMed, EMBASE, Tufts CEA registry, Cochrane CENTRAL, and the UK National Health Services Economic Evaluation Database from 2009 to 2014.
STUDY SELECTION: All cost-effectiveness studies evaluating asthma medication(s) were included. Clinical evidence type, "E," was classified as efficacy-based if the evidence was from an explanatory randomized controlled trial(s) or meta-analysis, while evidence from pragmatic trial(s) or observational study(s) was classified as effectiveness-based. We defined three times the World Health Organization cost-effectiveness willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold or less as a favorable cost-effectiveness finding. Logistic regression tested the likelihood of favorable versus unfavorable cost-effectiveness findings against the type of "E."
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: 25 cost-effectiveness studies were included. Ten (40.0%) studies were effectiveness-based, yet 15 (60.0%) studies were efficacy-based. Of 17 studies using endpoints that could be compared to WTP threshold, 7 out of 8 (87.5%) effectiveness-based studies yielded favorable cost-effectiveness results, whereas 4 out of 9 (44.4%) efficacy-based studies yielded favorable cost-effectiveness results. The adjusted odds ratio was 15.12 (95% confidence interval; 0.59 to 388.75) for effectiveness-based versus efficacy-based achieving favorable cost-effectiveness findings. More asthma cost-effectiveness studies used efficacy-based evidence. Studies using effectiveness-based evidence trended toward being more likely to disseminate favorable cost-effective findings than those using efficacy. Health policy decision makers should pay attention to the type of clinical evidence used in cost-effectiveness studies for accurate interpretation and application.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of a service containing self-management support delivered by community pharmacists to patients with asthma.
METHODS: A systematic search was performed in the following databases from inception to January 2017: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library's Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) Plus, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and PsycInfo. Original studies were selected if they met the following criteria: (a) provided by community pharmacists; (b) the intervention service included the essential components of asthma self-management; (c) included a usual care group; and (d) measured control/severity of asthma symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), or medication adherence.
RESULTS: Of the 639 articles screened, 12 studies involving 2,121 asthma patients were included. Six studies were randomized trials, and the other 6 were nonrandomized trials. Patients with asthma who received a self-management support service by community pharmacists had better symptom control/lower severity compared with those receiving usual care (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.09-0.82) with high heterogeneity (I2=82.6%; P = 0.000). The overall improvement in HRQOL and medication adherence among patients in the asthma self-management support group was greater than for those in the usual care group with SMD of 0.23 (95% CI = 0.12-0.34) and 0.44 (95% CI = 0.27-0.61), respectively. Evidence of heterogeneity was not observed in these 2 outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Self-management support service provided by community pharmacists can help improve symptom control, quality of life, and medication adherence in patients with asthma.
DISCLOSURES: This study received financial support from Naresuan University's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Fund. Two authors, Saini and Krass, have studies that were included in this review. However, they were not involved in the processes that could bias outcomes of the present study, that is, quality assessment and meta-analysis. The remaining authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
METHOD: We completed a prospective, double-blinded, randomized placebo-control trial of azithromycin among pre-school children (12 to 60 months of age) presenting to the emergency department with wheeze. Patients were randomized to receive either five days of azithromycin or placebo. Primary outcome was time to resolution of respiratory symptoms after treatment initiation. Secondary outcomes included the number of days children used a Short-Acting Beta-Agonists during the 21 day follow-up and time to disease exacerbation during the following six months (unscheduled health care visit or treatment with an oral corticosteroid for acute respiratory symptoms).
RESULTS: Of the 300 wheezing children recruited, 222 and 169 were analyzed for the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. The treatment groups had similar demographics and clinical parameters at baseline. Median time to resolution of respiratory symptoms was four days for both treatment arms (interquartile range (IQR) 3,6; p = 0.28). Median number of days of Short-Acting Beta-Agonist use among those who received azithromycin was four and a half days (IQR 2, 7) and five days (IQR 2, 9; p = 0.22) among those who received placebo. Participants who received azithromycin had a 0.91 hazard ratio for time to six-month exacerbation compared to placebo (95% CI 0.61, 1.36, p = 0.65). A pre-determined subgroup analysis showed no differences in outcomes for children with their first or repeat episode of wheezing. There was no significant difference in the proportion of participants experiencing an adverse event.
CONCLUSION: Azithromycin neither reduced duration of respiratory symptoms nor time to respiratory exacerbation in the following six months after treatment among wheezing preschool children presenting to an emergency department. There was no significant effect among children with either first-time or prior wheezing.