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Real-world characteristics and disease burden of patients with asthma prior to treatment initiation with mepolizumab or omalizumab: a retrospective cohort database study

Authors Llanos JP, Bell CF, Packnett E, Thiel E, Irwin DE, Hahn B, Ortega H

Received 4 October 2018

Accepted for publication 27 December 2018

Published 25 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 43—58


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos

Jean-Pierre Llanos,1 Christopher F Bell,1 Elizabeth Packnett,2 Ellen Thiel,2 Debra E Irwin,2 Beth Hahn,1 Hector Ortega3

1Respiratory, US Medical Affairs, GSK, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA; 2Truven Health Analytics, An IBM Watson Health Company, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 3Respiratory, US Medical Affairs, GSK, La Jolla, CA, USA

Purpose: Patients with severe asthma are eligible for asthma-specific biologics as add-on therapies, such as mepolizumab and omalizumab, when optimized controller therapies are unable to control their symptoms. However, few real-world data are available to describe the characteristics and associated economic burden of patients considered to be candidates for mepolizumab or omalizumab therapy.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study investigated patients with asthma (≥12 years of age) identified at the time of first mepolizumab or omalizumab administration (index date) in the MarketScan™ Commercial Database. Data were collected during the 12-month period before the index date (baseline period) for two mutually exclusive patient groups (patients prescribed mepolizumab and omalizumab, respectively). Baseline demographics, history of exacerbations, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), and medical costs were investigated.
Results: In total, 413 and 1,834 patients who had been prescribed mepolizumab or omalizumab, respectively, were identified. During the baseline period, patients prescribed mepolizumab experienced more exacerbations (81.4% vs 57.5%, P<0.001), had higher asthma-related HCRU for outpatient services (all P<0.01), and had higher total asthma-related healthcare costs (US$11,000 vs US$7,400, P<0.001) compared with patients prescribed omalizumab. Allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and chronic idiopathic urticaria were more common among patients prescribed omalizumab vs mepolizumab. In contrast, sinusitis, nasal polyps, and comorbid COPD were more common among patients prescribed mepolizumab vs omalizumab. Prescriptions of fixed-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) with long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) and ICS/LABA/long-acting muscarinic antagonist triple therapy during the baseline period were higher among patients prescribed mepolizumab vs omalizumab (80.4%  vs 56.8% and 27.1%  vs 14.4%, respectively, both P<0.001).
Conclusion: In the 12 months prior to initiation of asthma-specific biologics, patients prescribed mepolizumab had a different prevalence of certain comorbidities, higher disease burden, higher HCRU, and higher healthcare costs compared with patients prescribed omalizumab.

Keywords: asthma, mepolizumab, biologic, healthcare resource utilization, healthcare costs

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