Background and objective: Intranasal corticosteroids are considered to be highly effective in patients with perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Multiple intranasal corticosteroid products are available; however, an intranasal corticosteroid that treats nasal and ocular seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms may be more cost effective by reducing the need for concomitant drugs. The purpose of this study was to compare the utilization and costs of concomitant allergic rhinitis drugs among commonly used branded intranasal corticosteroid drugs.
Methods: Pharmacy claims data between 1 April 2006 and 31 January 2008 were obtained from the Wolters Kluwer SourceLx dataset. Patients with at least one pharmacy claim for a branded intranasal corticosteroid agent (fluticasone furoate, budesonide, mometasone or triamcinolone) during the index period of 1 April 2007 through 31 July 2007 were included. Study outcomes assessed were time to concomitant use of prescription allergic rhinitis drugs (other than intranasal corticosteroids) and costs of those medications and intranasal corticosteroid drugs during a 60-day post-index period.
Results: A total of 793 349 patients were included in the study. At index, a majority of the patients were using mometasone (62.9%), followed by triamcinolone (21.1%), budesonide (15.1%) and fluticasone furoate (1.0%). After controlling for other covariates, patients receiving fluticasone furoate had on average a 21% lower risk of concomitant prescription allergic rhinitis drug use (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.79; 95% CI 0.75, 0.83) compared with the other three branded intranasal corticosteroid agents. Compared with fluticasone furoate, all other branded intranasal corticosteroid agents incurred statistically significant higher costs of concomitant allergic rhinitis drugs (6.3%, p = 0.002), resulting in increased costs to health plans of $US5-$US6 per patient over a 60-day period. Mean intranasal corticosteroid costs per patient during the 60-day follow-up period were lowest for budesonide ($US70.15), followed by fluticasone furoate ($US70.86), triamcinolone ($US73.23) and mometasone ($US75.48).
Conclusion: In this cohort of intranasal corticosteroid users, fluticasone furoate was shown to reduce the need for concomitant prescription allergic rhinitis medications compared with other leading branded intranasal corticosteroid therapies, resulting in lower costs per patient and potentially leading to significant savings for health plans.