Clinical and economic analysis of antimicrobial therapy of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations.Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Feb; 61(2):200-6.IJ
The aim of the study was to analyse the clinical and economic indicators of the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study focused specifically on antimicrobial therapy and the use of fluoroquinolones in the management of exacerbations. Data on the consumption of antibiotics to treat exacerbations in ambulatory care were derived from IMS Health. Also, an observational, retrospective analysis was carried out of patients who entered the clinical pathway for COPD exacerbations in University Hospitals Leuven. IMS Health data showed that there is a trend towards the increasing use of broad-spectrum penicillins and fluoroquinolones, and decreasing use of tetracyclines in the treatment of COPD exacerbations in ambulatory care in Belgium in the first half of the 2000s. The observational analysis enrolled 267 patients who were hospitalised between October 2000 and October 2005 to manage 359 exacerbations according to the clinical pathway. Median length of stay per exacerbation amounted to 10 days. Mean quality of life associated with an exacerbation was 74 using the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire. Median costs of hospital treatment amounted to euro5514 (third-party payer reimbursement and patient co-payment) per exacerbation. Treatment costs were driven by hospital stay (75% of total costs), diagnostic and laboratory tests (20%) and medication (5%). Antibiotics played a role in the hospital management of 75% of exacerbations. Fluoroquinolones were used to treat more severe exacerbations. Treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD imposes a significant clinical and economic burden on patients, the healthcare system and the society.