Patient Treatment Preference for Biologic Asthma Agents

There are limited data on patient preferences for biologic agents for the treatment of asthma. Researchers assessed patient and physician perceptions on biologic agents for the treatment of severe asthma. The results of the study were presented at the AMCP Annual Meeting during a poster session titled “Patient and Physician Preferences for Attributes of Biologic Medications for Severe Asthma.”

This cross-sectional mixed-methods study used qualitative interviews and direct rating and preference elicitation questions. The study is ongoing, and the researchers plan to enroll up to 50 patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma and 25 board-certified pulmonologists and allergists who have previously prescribed these agents for severe asthma.

Participants provided input on relevant attributes and barriers to these agents in an open-ended, semi-structured telephone interview. They rated the importance of the following:

  • Mode of administration
  • Dosing frequency
  • Number of injections
  • Time required for administration
  • Time to onset of effect
  • Frequency of treatment
  • Administration setting

As of the current reporting, nine patient interviews were complete. Time to onset of effect and out-of-pocket cost were most consistently reported by patients as important. The top three attributes of treatment were out-of-pocket cost, onset of effect, and frequency of administration.

Patients consistently preferred biologics that were administered:

  • More than one month apart versus less than one month apart
  • Every eight weeks versus every two or four weeks
  • Subcutaneously versus intravenously

Barriers to care included high out-of-pocket costs and the large time commitment (e.g., ordering the medication, travel to the site, and clinic time for receiving the medication).

“The insights from patients can help inform the decision-making process for biologic treatment for severe asthma,” the researchers concluded.

The study was sponsored by AstraZeneca.

Gelhorn H, Ross M, Balantac Z, Cutts K, Buachie R, Fox K, Ambrose C, Stone B. Patient and Physician Preferences for Attributes of Biologic Medications for Severe Asthma. Abstract J6. Presented at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting, April 23-26; Boston, MA.