Umeclidinium/Vilanterol Compared with Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol, Budesonide/Formoterol, and Tiotropium as Initial Maintenance Therapy in Patients with COPD Who Have High Costs and Comorbidities

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 2021


Comorbidities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with increased medical costs and risk of exacerbations. This study compared COPD-related medical costs and exacerbations in high-cost, high-comorbidity patients with COPD receiving initial maintenance treatment (IMT) with umeclidinium/vilanterol (UMEC/VI) versus fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/SAL), budesonide/formoterol (B/F), or tiotropium (TIO).


This retrospective, matched cohort study identified patients from Optum's de-identified Clinformatics Data Mart database who initiated UMEC/VI, FP/SAL, B/F, or TIO between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018 (index date defined as date of the first fill). Eligibility criteria included age ≥40 years at index, ≥1 pre-index COPD diagnosis, no pre-index asthma diagnosis, 12 months of continuous insurance coverage pre-index, and high pre-index costs (≥80th percentile of IMT population) and comorbidities (Quan-Charlson comorbidity index ≥3). Propensity score matching was used to control for potential confounders. On-treatment COPD-related medical costs (primary endpoint) and exacerbations were evaluated.


Matched cohorts were well balanced on baseline characteristics (UMEC/VI vs FP/SAL: n=1194 each; UMEC/VI vs B/F: n=1441 each; UMEC/VI vs TIO: n=1277 each). Patients receiving UMEC/VI had significantly lower COPD-related medical costs versus FP/SAL (difference: $6587 per patient per year; P=0.048), and numerically lower costs versus B/F and TIO. Patients initiating UMEC/VI had significantly lower risk of COPD-related severe exacerbation versus FP/SAL (hazard ratio [95% CI]: 0.78 [0.62, 0.98]; P=0.032), B/F (0.77 [0.63, 0.95]; P=0.016), and TIO (0.79 [0.64, 0.98]; P=0.028). The rate of COPD-related severe exacerbations was significantly lower with UMEC/VI versus FP/SAL (rate ratio [95% CI]: 0.73 [0.59, 0.91]; P=0.008) and B/F (0.73 [0.59, 0.93]; P=0.012), and numerically lower versus TIO (0.83 [0.68, 1.04]; P=0.080).


These findings suggest that high-cost, high-comorbidity patients with COPD receiving UMEC/VI compared with FP/SAL, B/F, and TIO as IMT may have lower medical costs and exacerbation risk.

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Kalhan R, Slade D, Ray R, Moretz C, Germain G, Laliberté F, Shen Q, Duh MS, MacKnight SD, Hahn B