Prescription channeling of COX-2 inhibitors and traditional nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a population-based case-control study.Arthritis Res Ther. 2005; 7(2):R333-42.AR
This pharmacoepidemiologic study was conducted to determine whether risk factors for upper gastrointestinal bleeding influenced the prescription of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors and traditional nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at the time when COX-2 inhibitors were first included in the formulary of reimbursed medications. A population-based case-control study was conducted in which the prevalence of risk factors and the medical histories of patients prescribed COX-2 inhibitors and traditional nonselective NSAIDs were compared. The study population consisted of a random sample of members of the Quebec drug plan (age 18 years or older) who received at least one dispensation of celecoxib (n = 42,422; cases), rofecoxib (n = 25,674; cases), or traditional nonselective NSAIDs (n = 12,418; controls) during the year 2000. All study data were obtained from the Quebec health care databases. Adjusting for income level, Chronic Disease Score, prior use of low-dose acetylsalicylic acid, acetaminophen, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, prescriber specialty, and time period, the following factors were significantly associated with the prescription of COX-2 inhibitors: age 75 years or older (odds ratio [OR] 4.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.95-4.51), age 55-74 years (OR 3.23, 95% CI 3.06-3.40), female sex (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.45-1.58), prior diagnosis of gastropathy (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08-1.36) and prior dispensation of gastroprotective agents (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.47-1.67). Patients who received a traditional nonselective NSAID recently were more likely to switch to a coxib, especially first-time users (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.93-2.43). Associations were significantly greater for celecoxib than rofecoxib for age, chronic NSAID use, and last NSAID use between 1 and 3 months before the index date. At the time of introduction of COX-2 inhibitors into the formulary, prescription channeling could confound risk comparisons across products.