The cost of biologics for psoriasis is increasing
Background: Biologic agents have revolutionized the management of psoriasis but at a higher cost compared with “traditional” agents. Cost must be considered when evaluating management options for psoriasis.
Objective: To estimate the annual cost of treatment of psoriasis using biologic agents and assess the trend over the past decade.
Methods: The cost of annual treatment paradigms for etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab was estimated using the average wholesale price. Trends were assessed by calculating the percentage change in annual cost compared with the previous year. A sales-based cost of drugs was estimated using gross US sales of each drug and an estimate of the total number of patients treated based on prescription data.
Results: The cost of one year of induction and maintenance treatment was highest for ustekinumab ($53,909), followed by etanercept ($46,395), and adalimumab ($39,041). The salesbased cost of drugs was greatest for ustekinumab ($25,012), then adalimumab ($6,786) and etanercept ($6,629). Sales-based cost increased at an average of 20% per year.
Conclusion: The cost of biologic treatments for psoriasis has been increasing. Cost considerations in the management of psoriasis are likely to increase given the limited healthcare resources that are available.