Article Abstract

Tamsulosin dispensation patterns in the United States: a real-world, longitudinal, population claims database analysis

Authors: Bruce R. Kava, Anna E. Verbeek, Jan M. Wruck, Marc Gittelman

Abstract

Background: Tamsulosin remains the single most popular uroselective alpha adrenoceptor antagonist approved for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) attributable to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Over the last 3 decades, the utilization of tamsulosin has extended to conditions beyond its original indication. To identify potential changes to prescribing patterns and the extent of tamsulosin use for conditions beyond its original indication, we evaluated tamsulosin dispensing patterns in the United States using a large, multi-payer claims database.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis using IMS PharMetrics Plus™. Patients with a tamsulosin dispensation/BPH diagnosis code (index dates), identified during a 12-month selection period (October 2012–September 2013), were included if continuously enrolled in a health plan during the 18-month analysis period (12 months pre-index-6 months post-index). Patient and provider characteristics were evaluated using descriptive statistics and were contrasted with previously reported data from the literature.
Results: Of 133,977 patients dispensed tamsulosin during the analysis period, 72,583 (54.2%) were new users [59,197 (81.6%) men; 13,386 (18.4%) women]. Tamsulosin was newly initiated in men and women mostly by primary care physicians (PCPs; 31.6%) and emergency medicine physicians (21.6%). During the analysis period, 35,071 (59.2%) male new tamsulosin users did not receive a BPH diagnosis code during the analysis period. Of 199,468 men with a BPH diagnosis code, 143,444 (71.9%) were newly diagnosed, mostly [70,412 (49.1%)] by urologists. Few men received hypotension diagnosis: 252 (0.4%) new tamsulosin users within 1 month of starting tamsulosin and 640 (0.4%) within 1 month of a new BPH diagnosis.
Conclusions: Tamsulosin was prescribed in patients without a recorded diagnosis of BPH and in women. Physicians were comfortable prescribing tamsulosin in the presence of comorbidity and polypharmacy, and PCPs and emergency medicine physicians were the primary prescribers. These results have important implications for future retrospective research for tamsulosin.

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