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Tob Control. 2010 Dec;19(6):507-11. doi: 10.1136/tc.2009.035147. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Using policy to increase prescribing of smoking cessation medications in the VA healthcare system.

Author information

  • 1Health Economics Resource Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA. mark.smith9@va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Since 2002 the US Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system has initiated national policies and programmes to reduce smoking among its patients and to increase evidence-based treatment for smoking.

OBJECTIVE:

To document changes in dispensing rates of cessation-related medications in VA from 2004 to 2008.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of VA administrative data.

RESULTS:

Prescription fills for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and for bupropion among NRT users, each grew more than 60% in four years. The increase stemmed primarily from treating more people rather than from filling more prescriptions per person.

CONCLUSION:

The results provide strong support for the efficacy of these policies and illustrate how healthcare systems can successfully employ multiple strategies to increase evidence-based smoking-cessation treatment.

PMID:
20870742
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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