Saturday, 7 May 2016

What drugs will we take in the future?

There's always work going on behind the scenes, developing medications, testing, and establishing which get the best results for the amount of money invested.  

Here's some information about recent trials of Acthar Gel, one of the drugs in the pipeline with  Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in America.

New clinical and health economic data from a retrospective analysis of H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection; RCI) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) discusses whether the use of Acthar in this patient population was associated with reduced hospitalization costs, lower per patient per month medical costs, a reduced rate of hospitalizations, and a reduction in emergency department visits. The analysis was recently presented in a poster session at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 


The study examined administrative claims data from a commercially insured SLE patient population in the HealthCore Integrated Research Database between Jan. 1, 2006, and Mar. 31, 2015. The analysis provides important data regarding the clinical and real-world use of Acthar as a treatment option for appropriate patients with SLE. The study may offer important insight on possible ways to help provide savings to hospitals and healthcare system through reduced hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and other medical costs associated with treating select patients with SLE.


SLE Retrospective Analysis

“Real-world treatment patterns and demographic, clinical and economic characteristics of systemic lupus erythematosus patients initiating repository corticotropin injection therapy” (Wu B, Deshpande G, Tunceli O, Gu T, Popelar B, Philbin M, Damal K, Schepman P, Wan GJ. ABSTRACT M17, page 109.) described the clinical and health economic profile of SLE patients initiating Acthar in a commercially insured U.S. population using claims data from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database4 between Jan. 1, 2006 and Mar. 31, 2015. Among 29,401 SLE patients identified, 29 (0.1%) initiated Acthar, on average, at 23 months after diagnosis and were followed for an average of 24 months. The average age at diagnosis was 45.1 years and 89.7% of the patients were female. The analysis identified medical costs specific to SLE-related symptoms as well as from all causes.

Findings associated with the use of Acthar in this population of SLE patients included:


  • A medical cost offset was observed due to reduced hospitalisation costs, despite an increase in all-cause or SLE-related pharmacy costs after initiation of Acthar, which offset the drug costs by 32%-37%.
  • After Acthar initiation, patients incurred significantly lower per patient per month (PPPM) medical costs specific to SLE ($3,011 vs. $893, p=0.02) compared with pre-initiation period, mainly driven by lower PPPM costs for SLE-related hospitalisation ($2,444 vs. $434, p=0.02).
  • Further, where those same SLE patients incurred medical costs related to all causes including SLE, there was a 20.2% reduction in the rate of hospitalisations (238 vs. 190 patients per 1,000 patient year, p=0.40), and a 12.6% reduction in the rate of all-causes emergency department visits (238 vs. 208 patients per 1,000 patient year, p=0.59) during the Acthar post-initiation period as compared to the pre-initiation period. These results were not statistically significant, perhaps due to small sample size.

Limitations of the Study
This study estimated costs from a commercial payer’s perspective, which may underestimate the overall cost burden of the disease, and may have limited generalisability to a non-commercially insured population. Additionally, this study found trends of decreased healthcare resource utilization after Acthar initiation, but most, with the exception of hospitalisations, were not statistically significant due to small sample size.

About SLE
SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces antibodies to cells within the body leading to widespread inflammation and tissue damage. It is the most common form of lupus, a condition that impacts at least 1.5 million Americans. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with lupus are women, often between the ages of 15-44.6 Lupus is characterised by periods of illness “flares” and remissions and the disease can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. Symptoms may include fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers.

For further information, see the drug company's site http://www.mallinckrodt.com/about/news-and-media/2161169

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