Despite several new medications being Food and Drug Administration-approved for overactive bladder (OAB) and new prescription drug payment programs, there are limited population-based data regarding OAB medication use among older adults.
To examine: (1) impacts of new medications and $4 generic programs on time trends for OAB-related medication dispensing for older adults in the United States; (2) differences by age and sex; and (3) temporal changes in OAB-related medication payments.
Using Truven Health Analytics’ Medicare Supplemental Database (2000–2015), we analyzed OAB-related medication claims for 9,477,061 Medigap beneficiaries age 65–104. We estimated dispensing rates (per 1000 person-months), assessed dispensing trends using interrupted time-series methods, compared dispensing rates by age and sex, and summarized payment trends.
From 2000 to 2015, 771,609 individuals filled 13,863,998 OAB-related prescriptions. During 2000–2007, 3 new extended-release medications became available (tolterodine, darifenacin, solifenacin), leading to increases in overall OAB-related dispensing rates by 19.1 (99% confidence interval, 17.0–21.2), a 92% increase since 2000; overall rates remained stable during 2008–2015. By 2015, the most common medications were oxybutynin (38%), solifenacin (20%), tolterodine (19%), and mirabegron (12%). Dispensing rates peaked at age 90 (rate, 53.4; 99% confidence interval, 53.1–53.7). Women had higher rates than men at all ages (average ratewomen
, 22.0). The gap between upper and lower percentiles of medication payments widened between 2008–2015; by 2015, 25% of reimbursed dispensed prescriptions had total payments exceeding $250.
Medication-specific dispensing rates for OAB changed when new alternatives became available. Recent changes in utilization and cost of OAB medications have implications for clinical guidelines, pharmacoepidemiologic studies, and payment policies.