The cost of biologics for psoriasis is increasing

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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.

Keywords: cost analysis, etanercept, adalimumab, ustekinumab, psoriasis

Abbreviations: ACCEPT, Active Comparator (CNTO1275/Enbrel) Psoriasis Trial; AWP, average wholesale price; DLQI MID, Dermatology Life Quality Index Minimally Important Difference; PASI, Psoriasis Area and Severity Index; PGA 0/1, Physician Global Assessment clear/minimal; TNF, tumor necrosis factor; WAC, wholesale acquisition costs

Cheng J, Feldman SR. The cost of biologics for psoriasis is increasing. Drugs in Context 2014; 3: 212266. doi: 10.7573/ dic.212266

© 2014 Cheng J, Feldman SR. Distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 3.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No other uses without permission.

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Copyright © Cheng J, Feldman SR. dic.212266. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons Attributions License Deed CC BY NC ND 3.0.

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Steven R Feldman, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1071, USA.

Submitted, internally peer reviewed

Submitted: 19 November 2014
Accepted for publication: 27 November 2014
Publication date: 17 December 2014

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