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Underprescribing vs underfilling to oral anticoagulation: An analysis of linked medical record and claims data for a nationwide sample of patients with atrial fibrillation.

Guo JS, He M, Gabriel N, Magnani JW, Kimmel SE, Gellad WF, Hernandez I. Underprescribing vs underfilling to oral anticoagulation: An analysis of linked medical record and claims data for a nationwide sample of patients with atrial fibrillation. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy. 2022 Dec 1; 28(12):1400-1409.

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Oral anticoagulants (OAC) is indicated for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) with a moderate or high risk of stroke. Despite the benefits of stroke prevention, only 50%-60% of Americans with nonvalvular AF and a moderate or high risk of stroke receive OAC medication. To understand the extent to which low OAC use by patients with AF is attributed to underprescribing or underfilling once the medication is prescribed. This is a retrospective cohort study that used linked claims data and electronic health records from Optum Integrated data. Participants were adults (aged 18 years) with first AF between January 2013 and June 2017. The outcomes included (1) being prescribed OACs within 180 days of AF diagnosis or not and (2) filling an OAC prescription or not among patients with AF who were prescribed an OAC within 150 days of AF diagnosis. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to determine factors associated with underprescribing and underfilling. Of the 6,141 individuals in the study cohort, 51% were not prescribed OACs within 6 months of their AF diagnosis. Of the 2,956 patients who were prescribed, 19% did not fill it at the pharmacy. In the final adjusted model, younger age, location (Northeast and South), a low CHADS-VASc score, and a high HAS-BLED score were associated with a lower likelihood of being prescribed OACs. Among patients who were prescribed, Medicare enrollment (odds ratio [OR] [95% CI] = 2.2 [1.3-3.7]) and having a direct oral anticoagulant prescription (1.5 [1.2-1.9]) were associated with a lower likelihood of filling the prescription. Both underprescribing and underfilling are major drivers of low OAC use among patients with AF, and solutions to increase OAC use must address both prescribing and filling. Research reported in this study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (K01HL142847 and R01HL157051). Dr Guo is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01DK133465), PhMRA Foundation Research Starter Award, and the University of Florida Research Opportunity Seed Fund. Dr Hernandez reports scientific advisory board fees from Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb, outside of the submitted work.

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