Evaluating equality in prescribing Novel Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) in England: The protocol of a Bayesian small area analysis.

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Rezaei-Darzi, Ehsan
Mehdipour, Parinaz
Di Cesare, Mariachiara
Farzadfar, Farshad
Rahimzadeh, Shadi
Nissen, Lisa
Ahmadvand, Alireza
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BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting about 1.6% of the population in England. Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are approved AF treatments that reduce stroke risk. In this study, we estimate the equality in individual NOAC prescriptions with high spatial resolution in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England from 2014 to 2019. METHODS: A Bayesian spatio-temporal model will be used to estimate and predict the individual NOAC prescription trend on 'prescription data' as an indicator of health services utilisation, using a small area analysis methodology. The main dataset in this study is the "Practice Level Prescribing in England," which contains four individual NOACs prescribed by all registered GP practices in England. We will use the defined daily dose (DDD) equivalent methodology, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), to compare across space and time. Four licensed NOACs datasets will be summed per 1,000 patients at the CCG-level over time. We will also adjust for CCG-level covariates, such as demographic data, Multiple Deprivation Index, and rural-urban classification. We aim to employ the extended BYM2 model (space-time model) using the RStan package. DISCUSSION: This study suggests a new statistical modelling approach to link prescription and socioeconomic data to model pharmacoepidemiologic data. Quantifying space and time differences will allow for the evaluation of inequalities in the prescription of NOACs. The methodology will help develop geographically targeted public health interventions, campaigns, audits, or guidelines to improve areas of low prescription. This approach can be used for other medications, especially those used for chronic diseases that must be monitored over time.

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© 2021 Rezaei-Darzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Cardiovascular medicine and haematology

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Rezaei-Darzi, E; Mehdipour, P; Di Cesare, M; Farzadfar, F; Rahimzadeh, S; Nissen, L; Ahmadvand, A, Evaluating equality in prescribing Novel Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) in England: The protocol of a Bayesian small area analysis., PLoS One, 2021, 16 (2), pp. e0246253