A study presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research documented the steep risk in cost of treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) with biologics.
The poster was also presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy conference in San Diego in early April.
The product made by the study’s sponsor, Celgene Corporation, to treat PsA is apremilast (Otezla). The phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor is significantly less expensive than any of the large-molecule biologics. Value-Based Care in Rheumatology asked lead investigator Andreas Kuznik, PhD, whether combining this with the information in the poster could mean patients taking apremilast would have significantly lower annual PsA-related drug costs.
“That’s exactly right. Our product is priced at a significant discount relative to biologic products, and one would expect PsA-related costs to payers to be lower. We are actually evaluating this exact question right now in the same data set, but we have not yet disseminated these findings, so I am not able to share those results with you [yet],” responded Kuznik, Director of Global Pricing and Market Access at Celgene in Warren, NJ, via email.
Kuznik and 2 other researchers from Celgene extracted data from MarketScan databases regarding adults who had been diagnosed with PsA and who had a healthcare-plan claim for their first biologic between July 1, 2008, and July 31, 2013. Among the 25,565 patients included in the analysis, average per-patient total all-cause healthcare costs increased from $26,981 in 2008 to $41,317 in 2013.
At the same time, average PsA-related healthcare costs rose from $18,344 to $30,021 and PsA-related drug costs increased from $16,919 to $28,019.
Kuznik A, Eslava S, Cai J. Recent cost trends among patients using biologic agents for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. In: Proceedings from the ISPOR 20th Annual International Meeting; May 16-20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA. Abstract PMS29.