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Switch Rates and Total Cost of Care Associated with Apremilast and Biologic Therapies in Biologic-Naive Patients with Plaque Psoriasis

Authors Kaplan DL, Ung BL, Pelletier C, Udeze C, Khilfeh I, Tian M

Received 28 February 2020

Accepted for publication 11 June 2020

Published 17 July 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 369—377


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

David L Kaplan,1 Brian L Ung,2 Corey Pelletier,2 Chuka Udeze,2 Ibrahim Khilfeh,3 Marc Tian2

1Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, Overland Park, Kansas, USA; 2US HEOR, Celgene Corporation, Summit, New Jersey, USA; 3US HEOR, Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, California, USA

Correspondence: Corey Pelletier Email

Purpose: Compare treatment switching rates and costs among biologic-naive psoriasis patients initiating apremilast or biologics.
Methods: This retrospective claims analysis used IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental databases to identify patients who initiated apremilast or a biologic (ie, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] or interleukin [IL] inhibitor) for psoriasis treatment between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016. A 1:1 propensity score matching was used to adjust for possible selection bias and maximize the number of patients available for analysis. Treatment switching, days to switch, and healthcare costs were assessed at 12 months. T-test and chi-square test were used to evaluate differences between cohorts for continuous and categorical variables as appropriate; Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to assess cost differences.
Results: In total, 88,025 patients newly initiated apremilast, a TNF inhibitor, or an IL inhibitor. After inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied and patients were propensity score matched, 1645 (apremilast), 1207 (TNF inhibitor), and 438 (IL inhibitor) patients were included in this analysis. Twelve-month switch rates were significantly lower for apremilast initiators compared with TNF inhibitor initiators (14% vs 25%; p< 0.01) and comparable to IL inhibitors (14% vs 11%; p> 0.05). No statistical difference was observed in days to switch at 12 months for any treatment group. Total healthcare costs were lower for apremilast initiators compared with TNF and IL inhibitor initiators ($34,028 vs $55,973 and $64,430; p< 0.0001). Per-patient per-month (PPPM) costs were significantly lower for apremilast initiators compared with TNF inhibitor and IL inhibitor initiators ($2834 vs $4662 and $5366; p< 0.0001).
Conclusion: Over a 12-month follow-up, biologic-naive psoriasis patients initiating apremilast had significantly lower switching rates compared with patients on TNF inhibitors and similar rates as patients on IL inhibitors. PPPM and total healthcare costs were significantly lower for patients initiating apremilast vs TNF or IL inhibitors, primarily due to lower pharmacy costs.

Keywords: adherence, apremilast, healthcare costs, IL inhibitors, TNF inhibitors, treatment pattern

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