Urate-lowering therapy (ULT) is a recommended life-long treatment for gout patients. However, despite these recommendations, recurrent gout attacks are commonly observed in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to assess the levels of compliance and persistence to ULT in The Netherlands, in order to reflect on the current gout care delivered by health professionals. Anonymous prescription records were obtained from IQVIA’s Dutch retrospective longitudinal prescription database, containing ULT dispensing data for allopurinol, febuxostat, and benzbromarone from November 2013 to July 2017. Compliance to ULT was determined by calculating the proportion of days covered (PDC) over 12 months. Persistence over 12 months was evaluated by determining the time to discontinuation, without surpassing a refill gap of > 30 days. Association of PDC and persistence with age, gender, and first prescriber were examined using beta regression- and cox-regression models, respectively. There were 45,654 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 51.7% of the patients had a ULT coverage of ≥ 80% of the days in 1 year (PDC ≥ 0.80), and 42.7% of the patients were still persistent after 1 year. Men, older patients, and patients whose first prescriber was a rheumatologist were more persistent and had a higher PDC. Our results show that medication adherence to ULT after 1 year is suboptimal, considering that current guidelines recommend ULT as a life-long treatment. Future studies addressing the reasons for treatment cessation and improving treatment adherence seem warranted.
- Urate-lowering therapy