BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is associated with a high economic burden to society. New psoriasis systemic treatments offer the potential for improved skin clearance. Whether a higher degree of clearing translates into economic benefit through decreased work impairment has not been fully determined.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether more complete clearing of psoriasis is associated with a reduction in disease-related indirect costs.
METHODS: Pooled data from employed patients included in the CLEAR study, a phase 3b study comparing the efficacy and safety of secukinumab (337 subjects) versus ustekinumab (339 subjects), were classified into 4 levels of skin clearance improvement at weeks 16 and 52: Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) improvement from baseline of < 50% (PASI < 50), 50%-74% (PASI 50-74), 75%-89% (PASI 75-89), and ≥ 90% (PASI ≥ 90). Patients completed the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire for psoriasis (WPAI-PSO), which assessed absenteeism, presenteeism, and a composite overall work impairment over the previous 7 days at weeks 16 and 52. U.S. Department of Labor data were used to calculate annual indirect costs due to work productivity loss.
RESULTS: In the CLEAR study, 452 (67%) were employed at baseline and included in this analysis. At week 16, mean overall work impairment significantly decreased with higher PASI improvements: 22.8% for PASI < 50, compared with 13.3% for PASI 50-74 (P = 0.001); 6.4% for PASI 75-89 (P < 0.001); and 4.9% for PASI ≥ 90 (P < 0.001), with the majority of work impairment related to presenteeism. Calculated mean work hours lost by overall work impairment decreased with higher PASI improvements: 8.2 hours lost/week (429 hours/year) for patients with PASI 50; 4.6 hours lost/week (251 hours/year) for PASI 50-74; 2.3 hours lost/week (121 hours/year) for PASI 75-89; and 1.8 hours lost/week (93 hours/year) for PASI ≥ 90. Associated mean annual indirect costs due to work productivity loss per worker decreased with higher PASI improvements: $10,318 for PASI < 50, $6,042 for PASI 50-74, $2,901 for PASI 75-89, and $2,233 for PASI ≥ 90. Similar results were observed at week 52. Mean overall work impairment decreased with higher PASI improvements, ranging from 26.3% for PASI < 50 to 6.9% for PASI ≥ 90. A decrease in overall work hours lost (ranging from 9.5 hours lost/week [495 hours/year] for PASI < 50 to 2.5 hours/week [130 hours/year] for PASI ≥ 90), as well as associated annual indirect costs due to work productivity loss (ranging from $11,906 for PASI < 50 to $3,125 for PASI ≥ 90), were also shown with higher PASI improvements at week 52.
CONCLUSIONS: Among working patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, higher PASI improvements were associated with lower work productivity loss and reduced annual indirect costs. By improving and sustaining skin clearance, psoriasis treatments may contribute to increased work productivity and decreased societal economic burden.
DISCLOSURES: Funding for this study was provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Zhao and Herrera are employed by Novartis. Gilloteau is employed by Novartis Pharma AG. McBride, Graham, and Miles are employed by RTI Health Solutions, which provides consulting and other research services to pharmaceutical, device, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and received funding from Novartis for manuscript development, analysis development, and general consultation. Feldman reports grants and personal fees from Novartis, Abbvie, Janssen, Lilly, and Celgene, along with personal fees from Amgen and Valeant.