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Pharmacotherapy. 2008 May;28(5):562-9. doi: 10.1592/phco.28.5.562.

Dyslipidemia control in indigent patients receiving medication assistance compared with insured patients.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Oregon State University, Portland, Oregon, USA.



To compare dyslipidemia management with statin-based therapy in insured patients versus indigent patients receiving medication assistance, and to determine drug therapy adherence rates in the two groups.


Retrospective medical record review. Setting. University-based health care system.


Two hundred forty patients with dyslipidemia who received statin-based therapy from the outpatient pharmacies and clinical care at an affiliated clinic.


Prescription records identified 665 patients between October 1, 2004, and September 30, 2005. Forty of these patients had insurance (with a single carrier), and the remaining 625 patients received health care subsidies from the Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP). Using a block scheme, 200 patients from the CICP were randomly extracted. The primary objective was measured by assessment of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) goal attainment and use of a moderate-potency, lipid-lowering regimen capable of achieving an LDL level reduction of least 30%. Of a total of 240 patients who met study criteria, 26 were excluded whose records lacked LDL measurements while receiving therapy. The LDL goal was achieved in 122 (68.9%) of the 177 patients in the CICP group versus 29 (78.4%) of the 37 patients in the insured group (p=0.34). A moderate-potency, LDL-lowering regimen was used by 90.5% of 200 patients in the CICP group and 85% of 40 patients in the insured group (p=0.45). In patients classified as having moderately high, high, or very high cardiovascular risk, LDL goals were attained in 103 (67.3%) of 153 patients in the CICP group versus 16 (69.6%) of 23 patients in the insured group (p=0.83). In this higher-risk subgroup, a moderate-potency regimen was used in 162 (92.6%) of 175 patients in the CICP group versus 23 (92%) of 25 patients in the insured group (p=0.92). Among the very high-risk patients from the two groups combined, 30 (52.6%) of 57 patients achieved LDL concentrations below 70 mg/dl, and 58 (95.1%) of 61 patients were administered a moderate-potency, LDL-lowering regimen. The secondary objective, overall adherence, as assessed by the medication possession ratio, was better in the CICP group than in the insured group.


Our data suggest that quality of dyslipidemia management is similar for indigent and insured populations. Overall LDL goal attainment rates were higher than those reported in the literature. Most patients with significant cardiovascular risk, including those at very high risk, were treated according to established guidelines. Adherence rates were greater for indigent patients.

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