Bronchodilator prescription and sales data for Australia from 1975 to 1986 were analysed. Inhaled β-agonists were the most commonly prescribed antiasthmatic agents in 1986, followed by sustained-release theophylline and inhaled corticosteroids. Marked increases in prescription sales of these three drug groups over the period were noted. We estimate that non-prescription sales of salbutamol inhalers increased by 410% between 1980 and 1986 (P < 0.01). Prescribing rates by general practitioners for β-agonists, sustained-release theophylline and inhaled corticosteroids increased from 1979 to 1986. Prescribing rates of β-agonists were highest for persons aged 1-11 years and 55 years and over, and increased markedly for children aged 1-11 years over the period. For sustained-release theophylline, prescribing rates were highest for persons 55 years and over. The difficulties in postulating possible relationships between prescribing trends and asthma mortality are discussed.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Medical Journal of Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1990|