Background: Older people (aged 65 years and above) consume more analgesics compared with other age groups. Because of the aging of the New Zealand population, it is important to ascertain the trends of analgesic use at a population-level. Objective: The aim of this population-based study was to describe and characterize the utilization of analgesic medicines in older people in New Zealand from 2005 to 2013. Methods: Repeated cross-sectional analysis of population-level dispensing data was conducted from 2005 to 2013. Dispensing data were obtained from Pharmaceutical Claims Data Mart (Pharms), Ministry of Health, extracted using encrypted national health index numbers as unique identifiers and categorized by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology (WHOCC) Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system. Utilization of analgesics was measured in defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 older people per day (TOPD). Results: Overall, analgesic medicine utilization increased by 5.44 % from 2005 to 2013. Analgesic utilization increased from 233.66 to 246.36 DDD/TOPD. The increased utilization was mainly driven by analgesics and antipyretics. An increased utilization of analgesics was seen in the 85+ age group. Females consumed more analgesics compared with males. Differences in analgesic utilization across the District Health Boards (DHBs) persisted over the 9-year period. Utilization of anti-migraines was stable over the 9-year period. Conclusions: This population-level utilization study showed a 5.44 % increase in utilization of analgesic medicines in older people in New Zealand from 2005 to 2013. Important findings were that (1) females utilized more analgesics compared with males; (2) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) utilization decreased over the years; and (3) the highest utilization was reported in the 85+ group. Further research is warranted to examine the drivers influencing analgesic use in New Zealand.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)