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Lower Costs Linked With PsA Treatment Initiation

December 02, 2020

Patients who initiated apremilast for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis had significantly lower healthcare costs over 12 months than those who initiated a biologic, even when they ended up switching from apremilast to a biologic, according to a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion. 

“These results may be useful to payers and providers seeking to optimize psoriatic arthritis care while reducing healthcare costs,” wrote researchers from Celgene Corporation and the Dermatology Research and Education Foundation. 

The retrospective cohort study analyzed information from the Optum Clinformatics claims database for 370 biologic-naïve patients with psoriatic arthritis who were separated into two groups: those who initiated treatment with apremilast (125) and those who initiated treatment with a biologic (245). 

According to the study, 12-month treatment persistence was similar among participants who started with apremilast (43.2%) and those who started with a biologic (36.7%).  

All-cause total healthcare costs while persistent on treatment for up to 12 months, however, were significantly lower for patients who initiated treatment with apremilast ($28,130) compared with a biologic ($37,093).  

Per-patient per-month costs while persistent on treatment were significant lower, too, with apremilast compared with a biologic. For patients who switched treatments, monthly costs averaged $2455 for those started on apremilast compared with $3497 for those started on a biologic. For those who remained with their initial treatment, monthly costs were $2434 with apremilast and $3521 with a biologic. 

For those who discontinued treatments altogether, monthly costs were $2178 when started on apremilast and $2696 when started on a biologic.  

Jolynn Tumolo 


Wu JJ, Pelletier C, Ung B, Tian M. Treatment patterns and healthcare costs among biologic-naive patients initiating apremilast or biologics for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis: results from a US claims analysis. Curr Med Res Opin. 2020;36(1):169-176. doi:10.1080/03007995.2019.1668204

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