The following is the summary of “Immune-Response Modifiers: Characteristics of High-Volume Prescribers” published in the December 2022 issue of Dermatology by Aggarwal, et al.

There is considerable overlap between the indications for the use of biologic immune response modifier medications and those for oral small molecules (OSM), but their adverse effect profiles are somewhat distinct. That’s why some doctors would favor one over the other when writing a prescription. The purpose of this study is to characterize doctors who often prescribe OSMs and biologic immune response modifiers. Research methods included a retrospective examination of information contributed by doctors to Medicare’s Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber.

The findings showed that out of 14,982 dermatological practitioners, 424 prescribed more than 1,000 patient-days’ worth of OSMs and/or biologic immunity modifiers in a single year. Being a man or an experienced practitioner with more than 4 years of prescribing OSMs or biologic immune modifiers was found to be a statistically significant (P<.01) characteristic of high-volume prescribers. No significant difference was found between high-volume prescribers of OSMs and biologic immune response modifiers in terms of whether they worked in solo or group practice, but when comparing the average provider prescribing OSMs to the average provider prescribing biologic immune response modifiers, those prescribing OSMs were more likely to be working in a group practice.

After 4 years out of medical school, doctors may feel better prepared to prescribe large quantities of biological immune modifiers and other over-the-counter medicines (OSMs). And it’s possible that men’s greater tolerance for risk explains why they get more prescriptions for immune response modifiers than women do.