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1.
Journal of the American Pharmacists Association ; 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1587363

ABSTRACT

Background The drug supply chain is global and at risk for disruption and subsequent drug shortages especially during unanticipated events. Objective Our objective was to determine the impact of COVID-19 on drug purchases overall, by class, and for specific countries. Methods Cross-sectional time-series analysis of country-level drug purchase data from August 2014-August 2020 from IQVIA MIDAS. Standardized units per 100 population and percent increase in units purchased was assessed from 68 countries/jurisdictions in March 2020 (when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic). Analyses were compared by United Nations development status and drug class. Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models tested the significance of changes in purchasing trends. Results Before COVID-19, standardized medication units per 100 population ranged from 3990-4760 monthly. In March 2020, there was a global 15% increase in units of drugs purchased to 5309.3 units per 100 population compared to the previous year;the increase was greater in developed countries (18.5%;p<0.001) than developing countries (12.8%;p<0.0001). After the increase in March 2020, there was a correction in the global purchase rate decreasing by 4.7% (April-August 2020 rate: 21,334.6/100 population;p<0.001). Globally, we observed high purchasing rates and large changes for respiratory medicines such as inhalers and systemic adrenergics (March 2020 rate: 892.7/100 population;change from 2019: 28.5%;p<0.001). Purchases for topical dermatologic products also increased substantially (42.2%), although at lower absolute rates (610.0/100 population in March 2020;p<0.0001). Interestingly, purchases for systemic anti-infectives (including antivirals) increased in developing countries (11.3%;p<0.001), but decreased in developed countries (1.0%;p=0.06). Conclusion We observed evidence of global drug stockpiling in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among developed countries. Actions toward equitable distribution of medicines through a resilient drug supply chain should be taken to increase global response to future unanticipated events, such as pandemics.

2.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 10(24): e023235, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574529

ABSTRACT

Background Adherence to oral anticoagulation (OAC) is critical for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted access to such therapy. We hypothesized that our analysis of a US nationally representative pharmacy claims database would identify increased incidence of lapses in OAC refills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods and Results We identified individuals with atrial fibrillation prescribed OAC in 2018. We used pharmacy dispensing records to determine the incidence of 7-day OAC gaps and 15-day excess supply for each 30-day interval from January 1, 2019 to July 8, 2020. We constructed interrupted time series analyses to test changes in gaps and supply around the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (March 11, 2020), and whether such changes differed by medication (warfarin or direct OAC), prescription payment type, or prescriber specialty. We identified 1 301 074 individuals (47.5% women; 54% age ≥75 years). Immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, we observed a 14% decrease in 7-day OAC gaps and 56% increase in 15-day excess supply (both P<0.001). The increase in 15-day excess supply was more marked for direct OAC (69% increase) than warfarin users (35%; P<0.001); Medicare beneficiaries (62%) than those with commercial insurance (43%; P<0.001); and those prescribed OAC by a cardiologist (64%) rather than a primary care provider (48%; P<0.001). Conclusions Our analysis of nationwide claims data demonstrated increased OAC possession after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings may have been driven by waivers of early refill limits and patients' tendency to stockpile medications in the first weeks of the pandemic.

3.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295584

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) are more transmissible and have the potential for increased disease severity and decreased vaccine effectiveness. We estimated the effectiveness of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty), mRNA-1273 (Moderna Spikevax), and ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca Vaxzevria) vaccines against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalization or death caused by the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) VOCs in Ontario, Canada using a test-negative design study. Effectiveness against symptomatic infection ≥7 days after two doses was 89–92% against Alpha, 87% against Beta, 88% against Gamma, 82–89% against Beta/Gamma, and 87–95% against Delta across vaccine products. The corresponding estimates ≥14 days after one dose were lower. Effectiveness estimates against hospitalization or death were similar to, or higher than, against symptomatic infection. Effectiveness against symptomatic infection is generally lower for older adults (≥60 years) compared to younger adults (<60 years) for most of the VOC-vaccine combinations.

4.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294487

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Objectives To estimate the effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. Design We applied a test-negative design study to linked laboratory, vaccination, and health administrative databases, and used multivariable logistic regression adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine receipt to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. Setting Ontario, Canada between 14 December 2020 and 19 April 2021. Participants Community-dwelling adults aged ≥16 years who had COVID-19 symptoms and were tested for SARS-CoV-2. Interventions Pfizer-BioNTech’s BNT162b2 or Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine. Main outcome measures Laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR;hospitalization/death associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results Among 324,033 symptomatic individuals, 53,270 (16.4%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 21,272 (6.6%) received ≥1 vaccine dose. Among test-positive cases, 2,479 (4.7%) had a severe outcome. VE against symptomatic infection ≥14 days after receiving only 1 dose was 60% (95%CI, 57 to 64%), increasing from 48% (95%CI, 41 to 54%) at 14–20 days after the first dose to 71% (95%CI, 63 to 78%) at 35–41 days. VE ≥7 days after 2 doses was 91% (95%CI, 89 to 93%). Against severe outcomes, VE ≥14 days after 1 dose was 70% (95%CI, 60 to 77%), increasing from 62% (95%CI, 44 to 75%) at 14–20 days to 91% (95%CI, 73 to 97%) at ≥35 days, whereas VE ≥7 days after 2 doses was 98% (95%CI, 88 to 100%). For adults aged ≥70 years, VE estimates were lower for intervals shortly after receiving 1 dose, but were comparable to younger adults for all intervals after 28 days. After 2 doses, we observed high VE against E484K-positive variants. Conclusions Two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. Single-dose effectiveness is lower, particularly for older adults shortly after the first dose.

5.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While the COVID-19 pandemic may have substantially hindered the provision of routine immunisation services worldwide, we have little data on the impact of the pandemic on vaccine supply chains. METHODS: We used time-series analysis to examine global trends in vaccine sales for a total of 34 vaccines and combination vaccines using data from the IQVIA MIDAS Database between August 2014 and August 2020 across 84 countries. We grouped countries into three income-level categories, and we modelled the changes in vaccine sales from April to August 2020 versus April to August 2019 using autoregressive integrated moving average models. RESULTS: In March 2020, global sales of vaccines dropped from 1211.1 per 100 000 to 806.2 per 100 000 population in April 2020, an overall decrease of 33.4%; however, the vaccine sales interruptions recovered disproportionately across economies. Between April 2020 and August 2020, we found a significant decrease of 20.6% (p<0.001) in vaccine sales across high-income countries (HICs), in contrast with a significant increase of 10.7% (p<0.001) across lower middle-income countries (LMICs), relative to the same period in 2019. From August 2014 through August 2020, monthly per capita vaccine sales across HICs remained, on average, at least four times higher than in LMICs and nearly three times higher than in upper middle-income countries. CONCLUSION: Our study revealed the heterogeneous impact of COVID-19 on vaccine sales across economies while underlining the substantial consistent disparities in per capita vaccine sales before and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Action to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines is needed.

6.
Depress Anxiety ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540079

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Population studies have shown that rates of depressive and anxious symptoms have increased as a result of COVID-19. We analyzed trends in the dispensing rates of antidepressants and benzodiazepines in Canada to determine whether the pandemic has caused changes in rates of pharmacological treatment for depression and anxiety. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional time-series analysis of antidepressants and benzodiazepines dispensed monthly by Canadian community pharmacies between January 2017 and December 2020. We used March 2020 as the intervention month to determine if there were any significant changes in the national rate of antidepressant and benzodiazepine tablets dispensed as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: There was a temporary reduction in the dispensing rate of antidepressants in April 2020 (from 489 tablets per 100 in March 2020 to 356 tablets per 100 in April 2020; p ≤ .0001); however, the rate returned to its previous level by August 2020. There were no detectable deviations in benzodiazepine dispensing after the declaration of the state of emergency in Ontario. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the increased reporting of depressive and anxious symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no changes in the dispensing trends of medications used to treat these disorders. As the pandemic continues to evolve, future research is needed to monitor the prevalence of depression and anxiety, and associated medication use, in the Canadian population.

7.
Am J Gastroenterol ; 116(8): 1738-1740, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444536

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are curative treatments for hepatitis C. However, initiation of these treatments requires adequate healthcare access. Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in restrictions to healthcare services in March 2020. We examined the impact of COVID-19 on the number of individuals dispensed DAAs. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study examining the number of individuals dispensed DAAs in Ontario, Canada, from 2018 to 2020. Time-series models determined the impact of healthcare restrictions on DAA dispensations. RESULTS: Healthcare restrictions resulted in a 49.3% decrease in DAA dispensations (P = 0.026). DISCUSSION: COVID-19-related healthcare restrictions significantly affected access to DAAs. Studies exploring the long-term effects on reduced treatment are needed.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Ontario
8.
BMJ ; 374: n1943, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367424

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effectiveness of mRNA covid-19 vaccines against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes (hospital admission or death). DESIGN: Test negative design study. SETTING: Ontario, Canada between 14 December 2020 and 19 April 2021. PARTICIPANTS: 324 033 community dwelling people aged ≥16 years who had symptoms of covid-19 and were tested for SARS-CoV-2. INTERVENTIONS: BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and hospital admissions and deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multivariable logistic regression was adjusted for personal and clinical characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine receipt to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. RESULTS: Of 324 033 people with symptoms, 53 270 (16.4%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 21 272 (6.6%) received at least one dose of vaccine. Among participants who tested positive, 2479 (4.7%) were admitted to hospital or died. Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection observed ≥14 days after one dose was 60% (95% confidence interval 57% to 64%), increasing from 48% (41% to 54%) at 14-20 days after one dose to 71% (63% to 78%) at 35-41 days. Vaccine effectiveness observed ≥7 days after two doses was 91% (89% to 93%). Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admission or death observed ≥14 days after one dose was 70% (60% to 77%), increasing from 62% (44% to 75%) at 14-20 days to 91% (73% to 97%) at ≥35 days, whereas vaccine effectiveness observed ≥7 days after two doses was 98% (88% to 100%). For adults aged ≥70 years, vaccine effectiveness estimates were observed to be lower for intervals shortly after one dose but were comparable to those for younger people for all intervals after 28 days. After two doses, high vaccine effectiveness was observed against variants with the E484K mutation. CONCLUSIONS: Two doses of mRNA covid-19 vaccines were observed to be highly effective against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. Vaccine effectiveness of one dose was observed to be lower, particularly for older adults shortly after the first dose.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/mortality , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
9.
Chest ; 160(6): 2123-2134, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351575

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Drug supply disruptions have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for medicines used in the ICU. Despite reported shortages in wealthy countries, global analyses of ICU drug purchasing during COVID-19 are limited. RESEARCH QUESTION: Has COVID-19 impacted global drug purchases of first-, second-, and third-choice agents used in intensive care? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional time series study in a global pharmacy sales dataset comprising approximately 60% of the world's population. We analyzed pandemic-related changes in units purchased per 1,000 population for 69 ICU agents. Interventional autoregressive integrated moving average models tested for significant changes when the pandemic was declared (March 2020) and during its first stage from April through August 2020, globally and by development status. RESULTS: Relative to 2019, ICU drug purchases increased by 23.6% (95% CI, 7.9%-37.9%) in March 2020 (P < .001) and then decreased by 10.3% (95% CI, -16.9% to -3.5%) from April through August (P = .006). Purchases for second-choice medicines changed the most, especially in developing countries (eg, 29.3% increase in March 2020). Despite similar relative changes (P = .88), absolute purchasing rates in developing nations remained low. The observed decrease from April through August 2020 was significant only in developed countries (-13.1%; 95% CI, -17.4% to -4.4%; P < .001). Country-level variation seemed unrelated to expected demand and health care infrastructure. INTERPRETATION: Purchases for intensive care medicines increased globally in the month of the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, but before peak infection rates. These changes were most pronounced for second-choice agents, suggesting that inexpensive, generic medicines may be purchased more easily in anticipation of pandemic-related ICU surges. Nevertheless, disparities in access persisted. Trends seemed unrelated to expected demand, and decreased purchasing from April through August 2020 may suggest overbuying. National and international policies are needed to ensure equitable drug purchasing during future pandemics.

10.
Vaccine ; 39(37): 5265-5270, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349600

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nursing home (NH) residents are prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. We report monthly mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visit incidence rates (IRs) during 2010-2020 to provide context for COVID-19 vaccine safety assessments. METHODS: We observed outcomes among all NH residents in Ontario using administrative databases. IRs were calculated by month, sex, and age group. Comparisons between months were assessed using one-sample t-tests; comparisons by age and sex were assessed using chi-squared tests. RESULTS: From 2010 to 2019, there were 83,453 (SD: 652.4) NH residents per month, with an average of 2.3 (SD: 0.28) deaths, 3.1 (SD: 0.16) hospitalizations, and 3.6 (SD: 0.17) ED visits per 100 residents per month. From March to December 2020, mortality IRs were increased, but hospitalization and ED visit IRs were reduced (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: We identified consistent monthly mortality, hospitalization, and ED visit IRs during 2010-2019. Marked differences in these rates were observed during 2020, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Nursing Homes , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitalization , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(8): e2118441, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335942

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 has had devastating effects on the health and well-being of older adult residents and health care professionals in nursing homes. Uncertainty about the associated consequences of these adverse effects on the use of medications common to this care setting remains. Objective: To examine the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and prescription medication changes among nursing home residents. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study with an interrupted time-series analysis used linked health administrative data bases for residents of all nursing homes (N = 630) in Ontario, Canada. During the observation period, residents were divided into consecutive weekly cohorts. The first observation week was March 5 to 11, 2017; the last observation week was September 20 to 26, 2020. Exposures: Onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 1, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Weekly proportion of residents dispensed antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, antibiotics, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Autoregressive integrated moving average models with step and ramp intervention functions tested for level and slope changes in weekly medication use after the onset of the pandemic and were fit on prepandemic data for projected trends. Results: Across study years, the annual cohort size ranged from 75 850 to 76 549 residents (mean [SD] age, 83.4 [10.8] years; mean proportion of women, 68.9%). A significant increased slope change in the weekly proportion of residents who were dispensed antipsychotics (parameter estimate [ß] = 0.051; standard error [SE] = 0.010; P < .001), benzodiazepines (ß = 0.026; SE = 0.003; P < .001), antidepressants (ß = 0.046; SE = 0.013; P < .001), trazodone hydrochloride (ß = 0.033; SE = 0.010; P < .001), anticonvulsants (ß = 0.014; SE = 0.006; P = .03), and opioids (ß = 0.038; SE = 0.007; P < .001) was observed. The absolute difference in observed vs estimated use in the last week of the pandemic period ranged from 0.48% (for anticonvulsants) to 1.52% (for antipsychotics). No significant level or slope changes were found for antibiotics, ARBs, or ACE inhibitors. Conclusions and Relevance: In this population-based cohort study, statistically significant increases in the use of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, although absolute differences were small. There were no significant changes for antibiotics, ARBs, or ACE inhibitors. Studies are needed to monitor whether changes in pharmacotherapy persist, regress, or accelerate during the course of the pandemic and how these changes affect resident-level outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data , Homes for the Aged/statistics & numerical data , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use , Benzodiazepines/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Ontario , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e29396, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid increase in virtual care use across the globe. Many health care systems have responded by creating virtual care billing codes that allow physicians to see their patients over telephone or video. This rapid liberalization of billing requirements, both in Canada and other countries, has led to concerns about potential abuse, but empirical data are limited. OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to examine whether there were substantial changes in physicians' ambulatory visit volumes coinciding with the liberalization of virtual care billing rules and to describe the characteristics of physicians who significantly increased their ambulatory visit volumes during this period. We also sought to describe the relationship between visit volume changes in 2020 and the volumes of virtual care use among individual physicians and across specialties. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study using health administrative data from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, which was linked to the ICES Physician Database. We identified a unique cohort of providers based on physicians' billings and calculated the ratio of total in-person and virtual ambulatory visits over the period from January to June 2020 (virtual predominating) relative to that over the period from January to June 2019 (in-person predominating) for each physician. Based on these ratios, we then stratified physicians into four groups: low-, same-, high-, and very high-use physicians. We then calculated various demographic and practice characteristics of physicians in each group. RESULTS: Among 28,383 eligible physicians in 2020, the mean ratio of ambulatory visits in January to June 2020:2019 was 0.99 (SD 2.53; median 0.81, IQR 0.59-1.0). Out of 28,383 physicians, only 2672 (9.4%) fell into the high-use group and only 291 (1.0%) fell into the very high-use group. High-use physicians were younger, more recent graduates, more likely female, and less likely to be international graduates. They also had, on average, lower-volume practices. There was a significant positive correlation between percent virtual care and the 2020:2019 ratio only in the group of physicians who maintained their practice (R=0.35, P<.001). There was also a significant positive correlation between the 2020:2019 ratio and the percent virtual care per specialty (R=0.59, P<.01). CONCLUSIONS: During the early stages of the pandemic, the introduction of virtual care did not lead to significant increases in visit volume. Our results provide reassuring evidence that relaxation of billing requirements early in the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario were not associated with widespread and aberrant billing behaviors. Furthermore, the strong relationship between the ability to maintain practice volumes and the use of virtual care suggests that the introduction of virtual care allowed for continued access to care for patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Ontario , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302500

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a significant strain on hepatitis programs and interventions (screening, diagnosis, and treatment) at a critical moment in the context of hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination. We sought to quantify changes in Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) utilization among different countries during the pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional time series analysis between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020, using the IQVIA MIDAS database, which contains DAA purchase data for 54 countries. We examined the percent change in DAA units dispensed (e.g., pills and capsules) from March to August 2019 to the same period of time in 2020 across the 54 countries. Interrupted time-series analysis was used to examine the impact of COVID-19 on monthly rates of DAA utilization across each of the major developed economies (G7 nations). Overall, 46 of 54 (85%) jurisdictions experienced a decline in DAA utilization during the pandemic, with an average of -43% (range: -1% in Finland to -93% in Brazil). All high HCV prevalence (HCV prevalence > 2%) countries in the database experienced a decline in utilization, average -49% (range: -17% in Kazakhstan to -90% in Egypt). Across the G7 nations, we also observed a decreased trend in DAA utilization during the early months of the pandemic, with significant declines (p < 0.01) for Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The global response to COVID-19 led to a large decrease in DAA utilization globally. Deliberate efforts to counteract the impact of COVID-19 on treatment delivery are needed to support the goal of HCV elimination.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/standards , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Egypt/epidemiology , Finland/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Hepacivirus/isolation & purification , Hepatitis C , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Kazakhstan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States
14.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 78(24): 2277-2280, 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276144
15.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 78(14): 1294-1308, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195708

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To report historical patterns of pharmaceutical expenditures, to identify factors that may influence future spending, and to predict growth in drug spending in 2021 in the United States, with a focus on the nonfederal hospital and clinic sectors. METHODS: Historical patterns were assessed by examining data on drug purchases from manufacturers using the IQVIA National Sales Perspectives database. Factors that may influence drug spending in hospitals and clinics in 2021 were reviewed-including new drug approvals, patent expirations, and potential new policies or legislation. Focused analyses were conducted for biosimilars, cancer drugs, generics, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic influence, and specialty drugs. For nonfederal hospitals, clinics, and overall (all sectors), estimates of growth of pharmaceutical expenditures in 2021 were based on a combination of quantitative analyses and expert opinion. RESULTS: In 2020, overall pharmaceutical expenditures in the United States grew 4.9% compared to 2019, for a total of $535.3 billion. Utilization (a 2.9% increase) and new drugs (a 1.8% increase) drove this increase, with price changes having minimal influence (a 0.3% increase). Adalimumab was the top drug in 2020, followed by apixaban and insulin glargine. Drug expenditures were $35.3 billion (a 4.6% decrease) and $98.4 billion (an 8.1% increase) in nonfederal hospitals and clinics, respectively. In clinics, growth was driven by new products and increased utilization, whereas in hospitals the decrease in expenditures was driven by reduced utilization. Several new drugs that will influence spending are expected to be approved in 2021. Specialty and cancer drugs will continue to drive expenditures along with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: For 2021, we expect overall prescription drug spending to rise by 4% to 6%, whereas in clinics and hospitals we anticipate increases of 7% to 9% and 3% to 5%, respectively, compared to 2020. These national estimates of future pharmaceutical expenditure growth may not be representative of any particular health system because of the myriad of local factors that influence actual spending.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Drug Costs/trends , Economics, Pharmaceutical/trends , Health Expenditures/trends , Prescription Drugs/economics , Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals/economics , Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Databases, Factual/trends , Drugs, Generic/economics , Drugs, Generic/therapeutic use , Health Policy/economics , Health Policy/trends , Humans , Pharmacy/trends , Prescription Drugs/therapeutic use , United States/epidemiology
16.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e26960, 2021 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a notable increase in telemedicine adoption. However, the impact of the pandemic on telemedicine use at a population level in rural and remote settings remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate changes in the rate of telemedicine use among rural populations and identify patient characteristics associated with telemedicine use prior to and during the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a repeated cross-sectional study on all monthly and quarterly rural telemedicine visits from January 2012 to June 2020, using administrative data from Ontario, Canada. We compared the changes in telemedicine use among residents of rural and urban regions of Ontario prior to and during the pandemic. RESULTS: Before the pandemic, telemedicine use was steadily low in 2012-2019 for both rural and urban populations but slightly higher overall for rural patients (11 visits per 1000 patients vs 7 visits per 1000 patients in December 2019, P<.001). The rate of telemedicine visits among rural patients significantly increased to 147 visits per 1000 patients in June 2020. A similar but steeper increase (P=.15) was observed among urban patients (220 visits per 1000 urban patients). Telemedicine use increased across all age groups, with the highest rates reported among older adults aged ≥65 years (77 visits per 100 patients in 2020). The proportions of patients with at least 1 telemedicine visit were similar across the adult age groups (n=82,246/290,401, 28.3% for patients aged 18-49 years, n=79,339/290,401, 27.3% for patients aged 50-64 years, and n=80,833/290,401, 27.8% for patients aged 65-79 years), but lower among younger patients <18 years (n=23,699/290,401, 8.2%) and older patients ≥80 years (n=24,284/290,401, 8.4%) in 2020 (P<.001). There were more female users than male users of telemedicine (n=158,643/290,401, 54.6% vs n=131,758/290,401, 45.4%, respectively, in 2020; P<.001). There was a significantly higher proportion of telemedicine users residing in relatively less rural than in more rural regions (n=261,814/290,401, 90.2% vs n=28,587/290,401, 9.8%, respectively, in 2020; P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine adoption increased in rural and remote areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, but its use increased in urban and less rural populations. Future studies should investigate the potential barriers to telemedicine use among rural patients and the impact of rural telemedicine on patient health care utilization and outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
18.
CMAJ Open ; 9(1): E107-E114, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1089183

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is thought to have increased use of virtual care, but population-based studies are lacking. We aimed to assess the uptake of virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic using comprehensive population-based data from Ontario. METHODS: This was a repeated cross-sectional study design. We used administrative data to evaluate changes in in-person and virtual visits among all residents of Ontario before (2012-2019) and during (January-August 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. We included all patients who had an ambulatory care visit in Ontario. We excluded claims for patients who were not Ontario residents or had an invalid or missing health card number. We compared monthly or quarterly virtual care use across age groups, neighbourhood income quintiles and chronic disease subgroups. We also examined physician characteristics that may have been associated with virtual care use. RESULTS: Among all residents of Ontario (population 14.6 million), virtual care increased from 1.6% of total ambulatory visits in the second quarter of 2019 to 70.6% in the second quarter of 2020. The proportion of physicians who provided 1 or more virtual visits per year increased from 7.0% in the second quarter of 2019 to 85.9% in the second quarter of 2020. The proportion of Ontarians who had a virtual visit increased from 1.3% in 2019 to 29.2% in 2020. Older patients were the highest users of virtual care. The proportion of total virtual visits that were provided to patients residing in rural areas (v. urban areas) declined significantly between 2012 and 2020, reflecting a shift in virtual care to a service increasingly used in urban centres. The rates of virtual care use increased similarly across all conditions and across all income quintiles. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that Ontario's approach to virtual care led to broad adoption across all provider groups, patient age, types of chronic diseases and neighborhood income. These findings have policy implications, including use of virtual care billing codes, for the ongoing use of virtual care during the second wave of the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19 , Telemedicine/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Income , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Residence Characteristics , Rural Population , Urban Population , Young Adult
20.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(15): 1213-1230, 2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276198

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To report historical patterns of pharmaceutical expenditures, to identify factors that may influence future spending, and to predict growth in drug spending in 2020 in the United States, with a focus on the nonfederal hospital and clinic sectors. METHODS: Historical patterns were assessed by examining data on drug purchases from manufacturers using the IQVIA National Sales Perspectives database. Factors that may influence drug spending in hospitals and clinics in 2020 were reviewed, including new drug approvals, patent expirations, and potential new policies or legislation. Focused analyses were conducted for specialty drugs, biosimilars, and diabetes medications. For nonfederal hospitals, clinics, and overall (all sectors), estimates of growth of pharmaceutical expenditures in 2020 were based on a combination of quantitative analyses and expert opinion. RESULTS: In 2019, overall US pharmaceutical expenditures grew 5.4% compared to 2018, for a total of $507.9 billion. This increase was driven to similar degrees by prices, utilization, and new drugs. Adalimumab was the top drug in US expenditures in 2019, followed by apixaban and insulin glargine. Drug expenditures were $36.9 billion (a 1.5% increase from 2018) and $90.3 billion (an 11.8% increase from 2018) in nonfederal hospitals and clinics, respectively. In clinics, growth was driven by new products and increased utilization, whereas in hospitals growth was driven by new products and price increases. Several new drugs that will likely influence spending are expected to be approved in 2020. Specialty and cancer drugs will continue to drive expenditures. CONCLUSION: For 2020 we expect overall prescription drug spending to rise by 4.0% to 6.0%, whereas in clinics and hospitals we anticipate increases of 9.0% to 11.0% and 2.0% to 4.0%, respectively, compared to 2019. These national estimates of future pharmaceutical expenditure growth may not be representative of any particular health system because of the myriad of local factors that influence actual spending.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/economics , Ambulatory Care Facilities/trends , Drug Costs/trends , Economics, Hospital/trends , Prescription Drugs/economics , Databases, Factual/trends , Humans , Prescription Drugs/therapeutic use , United States
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