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Medication use is the mainstay of management for chronic respiratory conditions, of which chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are 2 of the main conditions, contributing 43% and 29%, respectively, to the total disease burden from all respiratory conditions. Medications are used to minimise symptoms, reduce the risk of exacerbations and improve quality of life. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) claims data collected by the Department of Human Services and held by the Department of Health has great potential to provide further insight into how chronic respiratory conditions are treated and managed.

This report investigates the utility of PBS and MBS claims data in answering key research questions for reporting on the treatment and management of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia. It also includes high-level analysis of the dispensing of medications indicated for the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions in 2016–17.

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