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A list of LABA and LABA/ICS medicines (presentations) used in the analysis is detailed in annex D. Formulations indicated only for COPD were excluded (Indacterol; Olodaterol).
Whilst PCPM data does not include medicines prescribed and supplied by secondary care there can be a reasonable assumption that the majority of the management of asthma and COPD is undertaken in primary care via FP10 prescriptions.
In order to identify regular or continuous prescribing of prednisolone (defined as 4 or more prescriptions), analysis of the full 6 months data was necessary. Patients who commenced regular or continuous prednisolone recently (for example, October onwards) may not be included.
Because of the method of identifying patients with asthma, the data will include patients who have COPD and have also received 4 or more prescriptions for prednisolone. However, removing the patients identified in COPD analysis will have reduced the number (see below).
For more details on the methodology see the Gold COPD resource