Can J Hosp Pharm. 2021 Spring;74(2):110-116. Epub 2021 Apr 1.
BACKGROUND: In the past decade, the number of inhaled devices approved for management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has tripled. Management of at-home inhaled COPD therapy can present a problem when patients are admitted to hospital, because only a limited number of these therapies are currently included in hospital formularies and there is a lack of established interchanges.
OBJECTIVES: To characterize and evaluate the appropriateness of management of patients' before-admission inhaled therapy upon hospital admission.
METHODS: This retrospective chart review involved patients with COPD admitted to a tertiary care centre over a 1-year period (October 2017 to September 2018). Before-admission inhaled therapy was compared with inhalers ordered in hospital and at discharge. Inhaler device type, regimen, therapeutic class, and disease severity were used to assess the appropriateness of inpatient management.
RESULTS: The charts of 200 patients were reviewed. Of these patients, 124 (62%) were kept on the same inhaler, 43 (22%) had one or more of their inhalers discontinued, 35 (18%) had to provide their own medication, and 24 (12%) had their medication changed to a formulary equivalent. An average delay of 2.6 (standard deviation 3.2) days occurred when patients provided their own medication. Formulary substitution resulted in most patients receiving a medication from the same class (75% [18/24]); however, other aspects of therapy, such as device type (17% [4/24]), regimen (29% [7/24]) and drug combination (47% [9/19]), were not maintained. Only 55% (6/11) received an equivalent dose of inhaled corticosteroids when the medication was interchanged to a formulary inhaler.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients' inhaled therapies continued unchanged upon admission to hospital, which suggests that despite the proliferation of new inhalers on the market, their use is still limited. For patients who did require interchange to formulary inhalers, maintenance of the same regimen, device, and combination product was rare. Provision of the medication supply by patients themselves often resulted in a delay in therapy.