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Patient and physician preferences for attributes of biologic medications for severe asthma

Authors Gelhorn HL, Balantac Z, Ambrose CS, Chung YN, Stone B

Received 20 December 2018

Accepted for publication 14 June 2019

Published 25 July 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1253—1268


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Heather L Gelhorn,1 Zaneta Balantac,1 Christopher S Ambrose,2 Yen N Chung,2 Brian Stone3

1Evidera, Bethesda, MD, USA; 2AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA; 3Allergy Partners, San Diego, CA, USA

Objective: Despite the increased availability of biologic treatments indicated for severe asthma, patient and physician preferences for these medications remains largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to understand perceptions of biologic therapies, barriers to care with biologic medications, and preferences for biologic therapy attributes.
Methods: This mixed-methods study involved quantitative surveys and qualitative telephone interviews with patients and physicians from the United States. Participants described preferences for relevant attributes, and barriers to use of biologic medications. Participants rated, ranked, and indicated importance of preferences for different levels of key attributes including: mode of administration, administration setting, dosing frequency, number of injections, and time to onset of effect. Other attributes unique to each group were also included.
Results: A total of 47 patients and 25 physicians participated. Patients ranked out-of-pocket costs, mode of administration, time to onset of efficacy, and administration setting as the most important attributes. Physicians ranked mode of administration, time to onset of efficacy, dosing frequency, and insurance reimbursement/access as most important. Both groups expressed preferences for less frequent administrations (Q8W over Q4W or Q2W) (all P<0.01) and subcutaneous (SC) over intravenous injection (both P<0.0001). Key patient barriers to biologic medications include location of treatment, administration time, scheduling, cost/insurance coverage, number of injections, and mode of administration. Physicians identified patient candidacy, convincing patients, administration setting, mode of administration, cost, and administrative burden as key barriers to initiating therapy; and efficacy, speed of onset, convenience of administration, cost, and patient compliance as barriers to staying on therapy.
Conclusions: Patients and physicians expressed strong preferences for less frequent dosing, SC administration, and faster onset. Cost/insurance coverage and convenience issues were key barriers to use. Increased awareness and understanding of preferences and barriers may be useful in facilitating physician-patient conversations with the goal of individualizing treatment.

Keywords: patient preference, clinician preference, severe asthma, biologic therapy, treatment barriers

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