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Effectiveness and Costs Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with Targeted Immunomodulators Using Real-World U.S. Data

Background: Targeted immunomodulators (TIMs) are used for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and include biologic and nonbiologic medications with different mechanisms of action. Data describing disease activity levels in RA are not directly available in claims databases but can be determined using a claims-based effectiveness algorithm. Rheumatology has benefited from the recent introduction of new drugs, many with new mechanisms of action. We provide an analysis of this broader range of medications.

Objectives: To (a) describe and summarize the effectiveness of available TIMs for the treatment of moderate to severe RA and (b) determine the RA-related health care costs per effectively treated patient, using recent data.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis using data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database from July 1, 2012, through December 31, 2016. Index date was the new prescription claim for a TIM (abatacept, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, tocilizumab, or tofacitinib). A 6-month pre-index baseline period was used to determine demographic and clinical characteristics. Patients without a TIM claim during the baseline period were considered naive; patients with a TIM claim in the baseline period that was different than the index TIM were assessed as receiving second-line therapy. A claims-based algorithm was used to assess 12-month treatment effectiveness and total RA-related costs. Costs included RA-related pharmacy costs and medical costs.

Results: Data from 14,775 patients were analyzed, including patients prescribed abatacept (n = 1,250), adalimumab (n = 4,986), certolizumab pegol (n = 387), etanercept (n = 5,266), golimumab (n = 577), infliximab (n = 969), tocilizumab (n = 451), and tofacitinib (n = 889). Of these, 705 were receiving second-line therapy. TIM effectiveness by first-line and second-line therapy, respectively, were abatacept 27.1%, 18.1%; adalimumab 30.9%, 22.1%; certolizumab pegol 20.9%, 14.3%; etanercept 31.4%, 31.5%; golimumab 32.7%, 22.2%; infliximab 21.9%, 21.3%; tocilizumab 30.9%, 30.6%; and tofacitinib 26.0%, 21.6%. The main reason for failing effectiveness was not achieving an 80% medication possession ratio or being nonadherent. The 1-year total RA-related cost per effectively treated patient for first-line and second-line therapies, respectively, were abatacept $121,835, $174,090; adalimumab $112,708, $154,540; certolizumab pegol $149,946, $236,743; etanercept $102,058, $94,821; golimumab $108,802, $140,651; infliximab $155,123, $185,369; tocilizumab $93,333, $109,351; and tofacitinib $100,306, $130,501.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of TIMs from this real-world experience showed that the range of patients who were effectively treated with first-line therapy was higher for certain tumor necrosis factor inhibitors and tocilizumab. The percentages of effectively treated patients were generally lower in second-line treatment compared with first-line except for etanercept, which had the same percentage between lines of therapy. Etanercept had the lowest RA-related cost per effectively treated patient among tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in first-line use and the lowest RA-related cost per effectively treated patient compared with all second-line treatments.

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