National Patterns of Filled Prescriptions and Third-Line Treatment Utilization for Privately Insured Women with Overactive Bladder

Brian J. Linder, John B. Gebhart, Daniel S. Elliott, Holly K. Van Houten, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Elizabeth B. Habermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate national patterns of care for women with overactive bladder (OAB) in an administrative data set and identify potential areas for improvement. Methods We performed an analysis using the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, which contains deidentified administrative claims data from a large national US health insurance plan. The study included women, older than 18 years, with a new OAB diagnosis from January 1, 2007, to June 30, 2017. We excluded those with an underlying neurologic etiology, with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, were pregnant, or did not have continuous enrollment for 12 months before and after OAB diagnosis. Trends in management were assessed via the Cochran-Armitage test. Time to discontinuation among medications was compared using t test. Results Of 1.4 million women in the database during the study time frame, 60,246 (4%) were included in the study. Median age was 61 years [interquartile range (IQR), 50-73], and median follow-up was 2.6 years (IQR, 1.6-4.2). Overall, 37% were treated with anticholinergics, 5% with beta-3 agonists, 7% with topical estrogen, and 2% with pelvic floor physical therapy; 26% saw a specialist; and 2% underwent third-line therapy. Median time to cessation of prescription filling was longer for beta-3 agonists versus anticholinergics [median, 4.1 months (IQR, 1-15) vs 3.6 months (IQR, 1-10); P < 0.0001]. Use of third-line therapies significantly increased over the study time frame, from 1.1% to 2.2% (P < 0.0001). Conclusions Most of the patients do not continue filling prescriptions for OAB medications, and a minority of patients were referred for specialty evaluation. Although third-line therapy use is increasing, it is used in a small proportion of women with OAB. Given these patterns, there may be underutilization of specialist referral and other OAB therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E261-E266
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • anticholinergics
  • onabotulinumtoxinA
  • overactive bladder
  • percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation
  • sacral neuromodulation
  • urinary incontinence
  • urinary urgency
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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