Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a rare hereditary disease leading to end-stage renal failure in approximately half of patients by seventy years of age. It is important to continuously take tolvaptan to control disease progression. However, adherence to tolvaptan in a real-world setting, rather than randomized controlled trials (RCTs), has not been sufficiently reported. We aimed to investigate tolvaptan persistence among patients with ADPKD using a large claims database. Using the Shizuoka Kokuho Database, we identified patients diagnosed with ADPKD who were prescribed tolvaptan from March 2014-September 2018 in Japan. The persistence rate of tolvaptan medication was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis, and patient background factors associated with treatment discontinuation were exploratively evaluated with log-rank tests. We identified 1714 eligible patients with ADPKD, and among them, 25 patients used tolvaptan medication. We followed up these patients, whose median treatment duration was 21 months. The persistence rates at 12, 24, and 36 months were estimated to be 70.8% (95% confidence interval: 48.2-93.4), 46.5% (23.2-66.9), and 38.7% (16.4-60.8), respectively. In the exploratory analysis, there were no factors that were obviously associated with tolvaptan discontinuation. The persistence rate of tolvaptan in patients with ADPKD in a real-world setting may be lower than that in previous RCTs. Our innovative method, particularly in Japan, to analyze adherence using large claims data should change the way clinical epidemiological research and health policies of rare diseases are designed in the future.
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