Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy 23(5) 583-589 doi 10.18553/jmcp.2017.23.5.583
Patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis may be treated with above-label doses of biologics in an attempt to optimize outcomes. Dose escalation will have an effect on the cost of treatment.
To examine costs related to above-label use of etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab among patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
A retrospective study was performed using a large U.S. claims database. Patients were included in the study if they were aged ≥ 18 years with a diagnosis of psoriasis (excluding psoriatic arthritis) and had at least 1 medication fill for etanercept, adalimumab, or ustekinumab between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. In addition, patients were required to have continuous enrollment for 12 months before, and 18 months after, the first biologic use (index biologic) during the maintenance period (defined as the period following the induction period in which each agent was titrated to its recommended maintenance dose per label) and at least 1 prescription filled for the index biologic during the 18 months after the maintenance period. Extensive above-label use was defined as taking an above-label dose (at least 10% higher than indicated in the label) for ≥ 180 days over a 12-month period following the maintenance period. Percentages of patients with extensive above-label use, mean number of days of above-label use, and additional costs associated with extensive above-label use (abovelabel cost minus on-label cost) were examined.
The study included 3,310 patients who started treatment with etanercept (n = 1,443), adalimumab (n = 1,447), or ustekinumab (n = 420). Extensive above-label use occurred in 20.0% of etanercept patients, 2.6% of adalimumab patients, and 14.8% of ustekinumab patients. The mean duration of extensive above-label use was roughly similar for the 3 biologics (mean days [±SD]: 282 [±55] for etanercept, 279 [±57] for adalimumab, and 305 [±43] for ustekinumab). Additional annual costs per patient because of extensive above-label use were $19,458 for etanercept, $18,972 for adalimumab, and $21,045 for ustekinumab. Total additional annual costs were $5,623,362 for etanercept, $701,964 for adalimumab, and $1,304,790 for ustekinumab.
Psoriasis patients treated with etanercept, adalimumab, or ustekinumab had extensive above-label use over the 12-month follow-up period, which subsequently led to higher costs.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation sponsored this study and the resultant publication. BioScience Communications provided medical writing and editorial support, which was also funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Feldman was engaged by Novartis Pharmaceuticals as a paid clinical expert and scientific advisor for this study. He has received research support and speaking and/or consulting fees from AbbVie, Advance Medical, Amgen, Anacor, Astellas, Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim, Caremark, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Galderma, GSK/Stiefel, Informa, Janssen, LEO Pharma, Merck, Merz, Mylan, National Biological, National Psoriasis Foundation, Pfizer, Qurient, Suncare Research, UpToDate, and Valeant; is the founder and majority owner of www.DrScore.com ; and is founder and part owner of Causa Research. Zhao, Herrera, Tian, and Li are employees of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Zhou is a paid consultant for Novartis Pharmaceuticals and is an employee of KMK Consulting. Study concept and design were contributed by Feldman, Zhao, Herrera, and Li. Zhou and Li were responsible for data collection. Data were interpreted by Feldman and Zhao, with assistance from Zhou, Herrera, Tian, and Li. The manuscript was written primarily by Feldman and Zhao, with assistance from Zhou and Li. The manuscript was revised by Feldman and Zhao, assisted by Zhou, Herrera, Tian, and Li. Portions of this work were presented at the 34th Anniversary Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1-4, 2015.