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Pragmat Obs Res. 2017 Aug 30;8:157-165. doi: 10.2147/POR.S134266. eCollection 2017.

Seasonal patterns of oral antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid purchases from Australian community pharmacies: a retrospective observational study.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
2
Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
3
Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute, Singapore.
4
Clinical Medicine, Griffith University, Southport, QLD.
5
Applied Medical Research Centre, University of New South Wales.
6
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University.
7
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney.
8
Central Sydney Area Health Service, Sydney, NSW.
9
NostraData, Kew, VIC, Australia.
10
Optimum Patient Care, Cambridge, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To explore patterns in the purchase of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) oral antihistamines (OAHs) and intranasal corticosteroids (INCSs) by patients, from pharmacies in different geographical regions of Australia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Retrospective observational study using a database containing anonymous pharmacy transaction data from 20.0% of the pharmacies in Australia that link doctor prescriptions and OTC information. Pharmacy purchases of at least one prescription or OTC rhinitis treatment during 2013 and 2014 were assessed.

RESULTS:

In total, 4,247,193 prescription and OTC rhinitis treatments were purchased from 909 pharmacies over 12 months. Of treatments purchased, 75.9% were OAHs and 16.6% were INCSs. OTC purchases of both treatments exceeded purchases through prescription. OTC OAHs purchasing patterns were seasonal and almost identical in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and New South Wales, and similar seasonal patterns for OTC INCSs were noted in most regions except for South Australia and Tasmania. Prescription purchasing patterns of both OAHs and INCSs remained unchanged throughout the year in most regions.

CONCLUSION:

This large-scale retrospective observational study identified seasonal purchasing patterns of OTC and prescription OAHs and INCSs in a real-world setting. It highlighted that seasonality only affects OTC purchasing patterns of OAHs and INCSs across Australia and that practitioner prescribing remains unchanged, suggesting that it is only for persistent disease.

KEYWORDS:

allergic rhinitis; medication; over-the-counter; prescription; therapy; treatment

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure A Simon Carney is a consultant for Olympus and Smith and Nephew and has received honoraria from MEDA Pharmaceuticals. David B Price has board membership with Aerocrine, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, and Teva Pharmaceuticals; consultancy agreements with Almirall, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, GlaxoSmithKline, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Pfizer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Theravance; grants and unrestricted funding for investigator-initiated studies (conducted through Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute Pte Ltd) from UK National Health Service, British Lung Foundation, Aerocrine, AKL Research and Development Ltd, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Pfizer, Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Takeda, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Zentiva, and Theravance; payment for lectures/speaking engagements from Almirall, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Cipla, GlaxoSmithKline, Kyorin, Meda, Merck, Mundipharma, Novartis, Pfizer, Skyepharma, Takeda, and Teva Pharmaceuticals; payment for manuscript preparation from Mundipharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals; payment for the development of educational materials from Novartis and Mundipharma; payment for travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Aerocrine, Boehringer Ingelheim, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and AstraZeneca; funding for patient enrolment or completion of research from Chiesi, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Zentiva, and Novartis; stock/stock options from AKL Research and Development Ltd, which produces phytopharmaceuticals; owns 74% of the social enterprise Optimum Patient Care Ltd, UK, and 74% of Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute Pte Ltd, Singapore; and is peer reviewer for grant committees of the Medical Research Council, Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme, and Health Technology Assessment. Pete Smith has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, MEDA Pharmaceuticals, and Mundipharma. Richard Harvey is a consultant for Medtronic, Neilmed, and Olympus, he has received honoraria from Sequiris and grant support from MEDA Pharmaceuticals, Neilmed and Stallergenes. Vicky Kritikos has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer. Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Mundipharma, and TEVA Pharmaceuticals for her contribution to advisory boards/key international expert forum. Alice Durieux was an employee of Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute, which has conducted paid research in respiratory disease on behalf of UK National Health Service, British Lung Foundation, Aerocrine, AKL Research and Development Ltd, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, MEDA Pharmaceuticals, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Pfizer, Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Takeda, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Theravance, and Zentiva. The other authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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