The need for individualized treatment regimens is becoming more important in the management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Gastroenterologists may dose adjust either by increasing the dose or shortening the dosing interval from the initial recommended maintenance dose to achieve an appropriate clinical response. Understanding the role of dose escalation in the treatment of IBD in clinical practice provides payers in the United States insight into the real-world cost-effectiveness of targeted immunomodulators (TIMs) in the management of IBD.
To assess the prevalence and magnitude of dose escalation for approved IBD therapies.
Using the Source Healthcare Analytics database, patients with IBD who initiated treatment with a drug of interest from July 2015 to June 2017 were identified. Patient utilization of the TIMs was tracked for 12 months following initiation. All included patients had at least 2 diagnoses for ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease before TIM initiation and at least 5 claims for a drug of interest within the 12 months following initiation. Dose escalation was defined as an increase of at least 30% in the average daily dose (ADD) relative to the patient’s expected maintenance dose on 2 consecutive prescriptions. The proportion of patients with dose escalation in the first 12 months after treatment initiation was determined. The magnitude of dose escalation was determined by calculating the patient’s ADD across all noninduction dose claims and comparing it with the expected daily dose. Dose escalation prevalence and magnitude were used to quantify the equivalent patient treatment rate representing the number of patients per 100 that could have been treated with standard dosing, given the prevalence of dose escalation in the treated population.
7,028 patients (2,406 infliximab, 1,966 adalimumab, 1,745 vedolizumab, 472 ustekinumab, 285 certolizumab pegol, and 154 golimumab) met eligibility criteria and were included in the study. Among IBD therapies, dose escalation occurred most frequently with infliximab (39%), followed by adalimumab (28%), vedolizumab (23%), ustekinumab (22%), certolizumab pegol (20%), and golimumab (14%). The magnitude of dose escalation was greatest for ustekinumab (131%), followed by infliximab (70%), vedolizumab (62%), adalimumab (59%), certolizumab pegol (50%), and golimumab (45%). The calculated patient equivalence was highest for infliximab (128) and ustekinumab (128) compared with adalimumab (116), vedolizumab (114), certolizumab pegol (110), and golimumab (106).
Among patients with IBD, dose escalation occurred with all TIMs examined with varying degrees of prevalence and magnitude. Real-world utilization patterns of TIMs indicate that dose escalation is an important part of the clinical management of IBD and needs to be considered when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of IBD treatments.
Financial support for this study was provided by AbbVie, which participated in study design, research, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing, reviewing, and approving the publication. All authors contributed to the development of the publication and maintained control over the final content. Ehrenberg and McDonald are employees of IQVIA, which received funding from AbbVie to participate in this research. Griffith and Theigs are employed by AbbVie and may own stock or stock options in AbbVie.