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Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Dec;56(12):3463-70. doi: 10.1007/s10620-011-1877-6. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Twelve-month persistency with oral 5-aminosalicylic acid therapy for ulcerative colitis: results from a large pharmacy prescriptions database.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Patients receiving 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) require long-term therapy to achieve good outcomes. Persistency (duration of time from initiation to discontinuation of therapy) is therefore an important consideration.


To evaluate persistency in patients receiving various oral 5-ASA formulations.


This retrospective, 12-month, cohort study examined new-starter patients (any age and diagnosis) from a large United States pharmacy database who filled a prescription for oral 5-ASA [Lialda(®), Asacol(®), Pentasa(®) 250 or 500 mg, balsalazide (generic and Colazal(®)), and olsalazine (Dipentum(®))] between March and September 2007. Persistency was evaluated monthly on the basis of prescription refill rates.


Prescription and refill records were identified for 44,191 patients receiving oral 5-ASA. After 1 year, 20% of patients receiving Lialda were considered persistent and classified as continuing (refilling within a timeframe of up to twice the duration of the prescription), compared with 9% receiving Asacol, 7 (250 mg) and 10% (500 mg) receiving Pentasa, 10% receiving balsalazide, and 10% receiving Dipentum.


Overall persistency with oral 5-ASA therapy was low. However, patients receiving once-daily Lialda had significantly higher persistency after 1 year of treatment than patients receiving other oral 5-ASA therapies.

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