Patient Support Program Increased Medication Adherence with Lower Total Health Care Costs Despite Increased Drug Spending.

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Publication Date


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J Manag Care Spec Pharm


BACKGROUND: The U.S. health care system is currently evolving from a volume-based care to a value-based care approach, which is in part supported by the introduction of patient support programs (PSP). For patients treated with adalimumab (ADA), the addition of a dedicated, trained nurse to the PSP (HUMIRA Complete, rolled out nationally in 2015) provides further emphasis on value-based care.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of the HUMIRA Complete PSP, including the Nurse Ambassador component, in a real-world setting for patients receiving ADA across a broad range of approved indications (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, uveitis, and hidradenitis suppurativa).

METHODS: A longitudinal retrospective study was conducted using patient-level data from the HUMIRA Complete PSP data linked to the real-world, patient-level Symphony Health Solutions administrative claims database. Commercially insured patients were included who were aged ≥ 18 years with ≥ 2 diagnoses of an indicated disease who were biologically naive before initiating ADA or who had no claims for synthetic-targeted immune modulator therapy before their earliest ADA claim in the database between January 2015 and February 2017. The first claim had to have occurred in 2015 or later, and continuous medical and drug data coverage were required for ≥ 6 months before and ≥ 12 months after the first ADA claim and index date. PSP patients (with at least an initial and follow-up dedicated nurse call) were matched 1:1 to non-PSP patients based on pharmacy type, indication, and propensity score, estimated with covariates for age, sex, year of first ADA use, and baseline comorbidities. Adherence to ADA was compared using proportion of days covered along with discontinuation of ADA, defined as a gap in treatment greater than the previous days supply with no additional ADA claim, total costs, medical costs, and drug costs (2017 U.S. dollars) over 12 months. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were summarized descriptively. Differences between cohorts were assessed using t-tests for adherence and costs and log-rank tests for discontinuation.

RESULTS: 2,268 patients (1,134 per group) were included. Baseline characteristics were similar between cohorts after matching. Participation in the PSP was associated with 29.3% higher ADA adherence (64.8% vs. 50.1%;

CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective study demonstrates that participation in the PSP augments value-based care by improving outcomes for patients with chronic diseases by helping them not only manage a complex treatment regimen but also lower annual health care costs.

DISCLOSURES: Design, study conduct, and financial support for this study were provided by AbbVie. AbbVie participated in the interpretation of data, review, and approval of the manuscript; all authors contributed to the development of the publication and maintained control over the final content. Brixner reports consulting fees from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Becton Dickinson, Millcreek Outcomes Group, Sanofi, and UCB Pharma. Rubin reports consulting fees from AbbVie, Abgenomics, Allergan, Forward Pharma, Genentech/Roche, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Napo Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Shire, Takeda, and Target Pharmaceuticals and research support from AbbVie, Genentech/Roche, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Prometheus Laboratories, Shire, and Takeda. Mease reports grant/research support from AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Genentech, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, SUN Pharma, and UCB; consulting fees from AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Genentech, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, SUN Pharma, and UCB; and served on the speakers bureaus for AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Genentech, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and UCB. Mittal and Ganguli are employees and stockholders of AbbVie. Liu has no financial conflict of interest. Davis is an employee of Medicus Economics, which reports payment from AbbVie to participate in this research. Fendrick reports personal fees from Merck, AstraZeneca, Trizetto, Amgen, Lilly, AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson, and Sanofi; grants from the National Pharmaceutical Council, PhRMA, the Gary and Mary West Health Foundation, the states of New York and Michigan, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; and has equity in Zansors, Sempre Health, Wellth, and V-BID Health. Data from this study were presented in part at the Academy of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting; April 25, 2018; Boston, MA.


Health Care Administration