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Trends of 5-Aminosalicylate Medication Use in Patients With Crohn Disease.
Noureldin M, Cohen-Mekelburg S, Mahmood A, Stidham R, Higgins PDR, Govani S, Deshpande AR, Waljee AK. Trends of 5-Aminosalicylate Medication Use in Patients With Crohn Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2021 Mar 15; 27(4):516-521.
5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) medications have a long history of use for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and continue to be widely prescribed today. The effectiveness of 5-ASAs in ulcerative colitis is clear; however, studies have shown little benefit for induction or maintenance treatment of Crohn disease (CD). We aimed to quantify usage and examine trends in 5-ASA prescription rates in patients with CD.
Using a retrospective design, we queried a national database of commercially insured patients (Truven-Health databases) between 2009 and 2014 to identify patients with CD aged 18 to 65 years. Prescription rates for 5-ASA medications including sulfasalazine, mesalamine, olsalazine, and balsalazide were calculated for each calendar year. Regression models were used to examine year-to-year trends in prescription rates and identify patient factors associated with 5-ASA use.
We identified 132,804 patients with CD, of whom 37.3% (n = 49,529) received a 5-ASA prescription during the study period. From 2009 to 2014, the overall prescription rates of 5-ASAs declined from 42.9% to 30.0% (P < 0.001). Patient factors independently associated with 5-ASA use included younger age, male sex, multimorbidity, and a health maintenance organization insurance plan, while controlling for the region of residence.
About 1 in 3 privately insured patients with CD received 5-ASA prescriptions despite their questionable effectiveness; however, in an encouraging trend, prescription rates significantly decreased from 2009 to 2014. This high prescription rate may reflect a gap in providers' knowledge regarding the available evidence-an opportunity for cost savings with improved health care delivery.