To describe the overall trend and dispensing patterns of blood pressure lowing (BPL) agents in an elderly Australian population.Methods:
We utilized Australian National prescription claim data from the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme for a 10% random sample of the elderly population aged 65 years and above. We restricted our analysis on “long-term concession" individuals. BPL agents were identified using the World Health Organisation Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code classification system. The annual age-standardized prevalence and patterns of BPL dispensing were summarized from 2006 to 2016.Results:
The age-standardized BPL dispensing increased by 8% (from 58% to 66%) in elderly Australians from 2006 to 2016 (11% in males and 5% in females). BPL dispensing in males exceed that in females since 2009. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor/Angiotensin II receptor blocker were the dominant BPL agents dispensed, remaining at above 55% of all patients with any BPL dispensing over time. In the sample, dispensing of diuretics fell from 27% to 21% and for calcium channel blockers decreased from 30% to 25%, while beta-blockers remained stable (29% to 31%) over time. The use of fixed dose combinations agents increased over time (from 23% to 31%). There exist distinctive BPL dispensing patterns by age groups.Conclusion:
The prevalence of BPL dispensing steadily increased among elderly Australians from 2006 to 2016. The changes of BPL dispensing patterns are largely in line for an aging population and with contemporary changes to clinical guidelines.