Real-world data involving some 332,000 people with either overactive bladder or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) found that BPH patients were more persistent with their medication — continuing to use a treatment for its prescribed period of time — than were those with an overactive bladder.
These observations led researchers to question whether doctors are treating overactive bladder problems adequately.
But the study, “Patterns of medical management of overactive bladder (OAB) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in the United States,” could not determine if the lower treatment persistence resulted from overactive bladder drugs being less efficient or causing more side effects.
The work, published in the journal Neurourology and Urodynamics, was a collaboration between the American Urological Association Data Committee and Pfizer, and included researchers from the three institutions: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, and the Cleveland Clinic.
The group wanted to better understand treatment patterns for overactive bladder and BPH — two conditions that sometimes go hand in hand.
Using data from the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database, as well as Medicare Supplemental Research Databases, the team examined claims data between July 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2013.
Of nearly 90 million patients in these databases, the study included 160,853 patients with overactive bladder, and 171,224 with BPH. The average age was about 65 in both groups.
Men diagnosed with BPH were much more likely to receive medications for their condition (40.5 percent) than men with overactive bladder (4.5 percent). The most commonly prescribed BPH drugs were Flomax (tamsulosin), finasteride (sold as Propecia and Proscar), and Avodart (dutasteride). For overactive bladder, it was Ditropan (oxybutynin), Vesicare (solifenacin), and Detrol (tolterodine).
Researchers defined medication persistence as no gap of more than 135 days between two treatment periods for the prescribed drug.
Compared to overactive bladder, more men with BPH continued taking their medications — 56.1 percent versus 33.7 percent. Older men more often continued with prescribed BPH medication than did younger men. Similar results were seen in men with overactive bladders. BPH patients also tended to switch their medications less often than those with overactive bladder.
The team concluded that the subject needs more analysis, particularly since the report could not determine why people quit their prescribed medications.