Defining the duration of the dispensation of oral anticoagulants in administrative healthcare databases

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2021 Oct 29. doi: 10.1002/pds.5378. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: In clinical practice, warfarin therapy requires frequent dose adjustments. In pharmacy claims, the days supplied value may not reflect the true duration of warfarin dispensation. This may affect the measures of association comparing the safety of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) vs. warfarin.

METHODS: Using Quebec healthcare administrative databases, we formed a cohort of 55,230 patients newly treated with oral anticoagulants between 2010 and 2016. The duration of dispensations was defined using two approaches: the recorded days supplied value, and the longitudinal coverage approximation (data-driven) that may account for individual variation in drug usage patterns. Propensity scores adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of major bleeding with dabigatran or rivaroxaban vs. warfarin.

RESULTS: Using the days supplied, the mean (and standard deviation) dispensation durations for dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and warfarin were 19 (15), 19 (14), and 13 (12) days, respectively. Using the data-driven approach, the durations were 20 (16), 19 (15), and 15 (16) days, respectively. The choice of the approach had no impact on the HR estimates.

CONCLUSIONS: In our settings, the data-driven approach closely approximated the recorded days supplied value for the standard dose therapies such as dabigatran and rivaroxaban. For warfarin, the data-driven approach captured more variability in the duration of dispensations compared to the days supplied value, which may better reflect the true drug-taking behavior of warfarin. Both approaches may provide valid estimates when comparing the safety of DOACs vs. warfarin. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:34714965 | DOI:10.1002/pds.5378

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