Core concepts in pharmacoepidemiology: Measures of drug utilization based on individual-level drug dispensing data

Lotte Rasmussen*, Björn Wettermark, Douglas Steinke, Anton Pottegård

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Drug utilization studies are essential to facilitate rational drug use in the society. Aim: In this review, we provide an overview of drug utilization measures that can be used with individual-level drug dispensing data, referencing additional reading on the individual analysis. This is intended to serve as a primer for those new to drug utilization research and a shortlist from which researchers can identify useful analytical approaches when designing their drug utilization study. Results and Discussion: We provide an overview of: (1) basic measures of drug utilization which are used to describe changes in drug use over time or compare drug use in different populations; (2) treatment adherence measures with specific focus on persistence and implementation; (3) how to measure drug combinations which is useful when assessing drug–drug interactions, concomitant treatment, and polypharmacy; (4) prescribing quality indicators and measures to assess variations in drug use which are useful tools to assess appropriate use of drugs; (5) proxies of prescription drug misuse and skewness in drug use; and (6) considerations when describing the characteristics of drug users or prescribers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume31
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1015-1026
ISSN1053-8569
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • databases
  • drug utilization
  • incidence
  • medication adherence
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • prescribing patterns
  • prevalence
  • Prescription Drug Misuse
  • Humans
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Drug Utilization
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Polypharmacy
  • Substance-Related Disorders

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