Consistency of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease regimens for patients visiting community pharmacies with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease recommendations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Journal of the American Pharmacists Association


Objective: Despite evidence-based Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommendations, outcomes are poor. GOLD uses chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) assessment test (CAT) scores with exacerbation history to categorize COPD severity into A, B, C, and D severity groups. Therapy is group-specific; monotherapy/dual long-acting bronchodilators (LABDs) therapy is preferred to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Pharmacist-accessible data could be used to identify evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes. The primary objective was to analyze previously collected data to compare the consistency of patient-described COPD regimens with GOLD therapeutic recommendations to identify potential pharmacist interventions. Methods: Cross-sectional, nonrandomized design using a written questionnaire and CAT scores. Dispensing data from 35 Missouri community pharmacies initially identified participants aged 40 years or older with 1 or more COPD medications dispensed in the past year. Those self-reporting COPD, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis completed a demographic survey with medication history, including oral corticosteroid and antibiotic use, and CAT scores. Proportion of days covered (PDC) was calculated for any COPD maintenance medication dispensed over 1 year. The participants’ COPD was categorized into A, B, C, and D severity groups. The reported medication regimens were categorized into consistent with, escalated from, or less than initial first-line/alternative recommended therapy for the A, B, C, and D severity groups. Results: The participants totaled 709 (group A: 6%; group B: 35%; group C: 4%; group D: 55%). Of the regimens, 41% were consistent with, 34% were escalated from, and 24% were less than initial first-line/alternative GOLD recommendations. Most (96%) of the participants were highly symptomatic. Regimens containing ICS: (67.5%); ICS plus LABD (37.2%) exceeded dual LABD (4.2%). The average PDC was 0.43 ± 0.37; only 28.7% were adherent (PDC ≥ 0.80). Conclusions: Participants with self-reported COPD were highly symptomatic and nonadherent; undertreatment was noted. Community pharmacists could provide therapeutic interventions consistent with GOLD A, B, C, and D severity groups, promote dual LABD versus ICS therapies, and optimize adherence.

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