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Antidementia drug prescription sources and patterns after the diagnosis of dementia in Germany: results of a claims data-based 1-year follow-up

van den Bussche, Hendrika; Kaduszkiewicz, Hannaa; Koller, Danielac; Eisele, Mariona; Steinmann, Susanneb; Glaeske, Gerdc; Wiese, Birgittb

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: July 2011 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 225–231
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e328344c600
Original Articles

We examined the patterns of prescription for antidementia drugs by German physicians with special reference to source of prescription, appropriateness of drugs and dosages and continuity of prescription patterns. The study is based on claims data of all 1848 incident cases in persons aged 65 years and older from a nationwide operating statutory health insurance company in the years 2004–2006. Inclusion criteria were one International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision code for dementia in at least three of four consecutive quarters and four quarters without such a code beforehand. Defined daily doses were used to quantify the prescription size. Data analysis used univariate and multivariate techniques. The majority of incident dementia cases in general and Alzheimer's disease cases in particular did not receive medication in conformity with the guidelines during the year after incidence. Inappropriate prescription was related to not visiting a specialist, living in urban areas, age and comorbidity. Further research is needed both on reasons for nonprescription among professionals and for discontinuation by the patients. In addition, the problems of practicability and implementation of guidelines deserve more attention.

aInstitute of Primary Medical Care, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

bInstitute of Biometrics, Hanover Medical School, Hamburg

cCenter of Social Policy Research, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Correspondence to Hendrik van den Bussche, MD, Department of Primary Medical Care, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, Hamburg 20246, Germany Tel: +49 40 7410 52400; fax: +49 40 7410 53681; e-mail:

Received July 26, 2010

Accepted January 18, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.