Study: Upper GI treatment is improving

Pharmaceutical Representative

Treatment for upper gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic heartburn, reflux and ulcers has been improving for the past three years, according to a new study conducted by Caredata.com an Atlanta, GA-based online syndicator of healthcare content.

Treatment for upper gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic heartburn, reflux and ulcers has been improving for the past three years, according to a new study conducted by Caredata.com an Atlanta, GA-based online syndicator of healthcare content.

The study was based on an annual survey of managed care members conducted by Caredata.com's Consumer Research Group and indicate a significant rise in upper GI patients who rate their care "excellent." The percentage of patients rating their upper GI care as "excellent" increased from 35% in 1997 to 43% in 1999. During the same two-year period, the percentage of patients rating care as "not adequate" dropped from 20% to 14%.

"This increased level of satisfaction parallels the finding of a 7% increase in the number of managed care members receiving medication for upper GI problems since the last study in 1997," said Tony Morgan, vice president, research for Caredata's Consumer Research Group. "The study showed a clear case of managed care patients closely aligning their perception of the adequacy of their care with their degree of satisfaction with the medication they are taking."

Among the patients surveyed, Wilmington, DE-based AstraZeneca's Prilosec® (omeprazole) was the primary medication most frequently taken for upper GI problems, with omeprazole being used with twice the frequency of other medication.

Satisfaction was highest with Prilosec, with 67% of users highly satisfied, compared to an average of 38% for users of other upper GI medications. According to the study, patients whose treatments included Prilosec as their primary medication were also most likely to fill their prescriptions exactly as written, less likely to be experiencing symptoms at the time of the survey and less likely to feel the need to take additional medications for their condition.

The 1999 Caredata.com Commercial Health Plan surveys address a national sample of more than 50,000 commercial managed care members. Of the members surveyed, nearly 8% reported being treated in their health plan for upper GI problems. PR