Study Compares Cost of Apremilast Versus Biologics for Patients with Psoriasis

Researchers sought to assess real-world costs associated with the oral agent apremilast for the treatment of biologic-naïve and biologic-experienced patients with psoriasis compared with biologic therapy. The results of the study were presented at the AMCP Annual Meeting during a poster session titled “Comparison of Real-World Healthcare Costs Among Psoriasis Patients Initiating Apremilast or Biologics.”

The researchers included adult patients with psoriasis who had initiated apremilast (n=408) or a biologic agent (n=810) between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015, and had 12 months of pre- and post-index continuous enrollment in the Optum Clinformatics claims database.

The mean patient age was 50 years, and the mean Charlson Comorbidity Index score was 0.6.

While persistent on therapy (defined as continuous treatment without a >60-day gap or a switch to another treatment during the 12-month post-index period), per-patient, per-month (PPPM) total healthcare costs (defined as inpatient, outpatient, and outpatient pharmacy costs that were based on standard prices in the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart database) were significantly lower among patients receiving apremilast ($2,215) compared with those receiving a biologic ($5,267; P<0.0001). The researchers said this was driven by significantly lower PPPM outpatient pharmacy costs associated with apremilast ($1,803 vs $4,536; P<0.0001) and significantly lower PPPM outpatient medical costs ($337 vs $466; P<0.001). PPPM inpatient medical costs were similar between the apremilast ($75) and biologic ($266) cohorts (P=0.685).

During the 12-month post-index period, total outpatient pharmacy costs ($17,504 vs $34,293; P<0.0001), total outpatient medical costs ($4,509 vs $5,971; P=0.011), and total healthcare costs ($22,827 vs $42,606; P<0.0001) were significantly lower for the apremilast versus biologic cohort.

The study was sponsored by Celgene.

Wu J, Pelletier C, Ung B, Ni Q, Tian M. Comparison of Real-World Healthcare Costs Among Psoriasis Patients Initiating Apremilast or Biologics. Abstract L16. Presented at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting, April 23-26; Boston, MA.