Background: Although costs of biologics are high, effective treatment of patients with psoriasis may reduce the total health care costs, as it may limit the need for hospitalization.
Objectives: To investigate the economic impact of psoriasis, including direct costs, before and after the introduction of biologics, with special focus on hospitalized patients, treatment effectiveness and patient satisfaction with medication.
Patients and methods: A descriptive retrospective cohort study including 67 patients with high-need psoriasis was done. Direct costs were investigated for the biologic and pre-biologic period. Direct costs for a subgroup of hospitalized patients were analysed separately. Patient satisfaction with biologic treatment was measured using the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM) version II. Effectiveness of biologic therapy was investigated by means of the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI).
Results: Mean total direct costs were €10,146 per patient per year (PPPY) in the pre-biologic treatment period, compared with €17,712 PPPY in the biologic treatment period. For six patients in the cohort, introduction of biologics led to a reduction of direct costs, as these patients did not need long hospitalizations. Treatment with biologics led to a decrease in PASI from 19·0 at the start of biologic therapy to 6·4 at analysis (66·4%). Patient satisfaction with biologics was high, indicated by a mean TSQM score of 77·8.
Conclusions: Introduction of biologic therapies may have cost-neutral or cost-saving effects for patients who otherwise require long hospitalization periods. Treatment with biologics proved effective and was accompanied by high satisfaction for the patients.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 British Association of Dermatologists.