Simponi or Remicade Treatment Lowers Healthcare Use, Increases Work Productivity in AS Patients, Study Says

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by Joana Carvalho |

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Simponi data study

A six-month course of treatment with Janssen‘s Simponi (golimumab) or Remicade (infliximab) significantly reduced the use of healthcare resources and increased work productivity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), according to a study.

The study, “Treatment with golimumab or infliximab reduces health resource utilization and increases work productivity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis in the QUO‐VADIS study, a large, prospective real‐life cohort,” was published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a debilitating type of arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the spine, causing chronic pain and lifelong physical disability.

“In addition to physical effects, AS has profound effects on economic costs for patients due to increased healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), which includes direct costs such as hospitalizations, medications, and in‐patient or out‐patient visits,” the investigators wrote.

“Effective medications are an important component in the treatment plan for AS to not only alleviate physical symptoms such as pain and loss of function, but also maintenance of quality of life and control of direct and indirect economic costs associated with this condition,” they added.

One of the available treatment options is the use of inhibitors that block the activity of TNF-alpha, a signaling molecule involved in immune and inflammatory responses, which is produced in excessive amounts in AS patients.

In this study, researchers examined the impact of treatment with two inhibitors of TNF-alpha — Simponi and Remicade — on the use of healthcare resources in a group of AS patients over a period of six months.

The prospective, observational study, called Quality of Life as Outcomes and its Variation with Disease States (QUO‐VADIS), enrolled 976 adults with AS who had never been treated with TNF-alpha inhibitors.

Healthcare resource utilization was determined based on the use of other medications and the number of hospitalizations and clinic visits. Work productivity and activity was calculated based on the number of work days missed, the level of work impairment due to disease, and activity using the Work Productivity and Activity for spondyloarthritis (WPAI‐SpA).

Of those who had been initially enrolled, 963 received more than one dose of the assigned medication. Of these participants, 751 (78%) were treated with Simponi and the remaining 221 (22%) with Remicade for six months.

Results showed the percentage of patients requiring hospitalizations decreased from 13.6% at the start of treatment to 3.1% after six months on Simponi or Remicade. Likewise, the percentage of patients requiring outpatient care (clinic visits) also decreased from 39.4% at the start to 19% after six months on either treatment.

In addition, the percentage of patients who had acute emergencies also decreased from the start (1.6%) until the end of the treatment period (0.3%).

Moreover, the mean number of work days missed in all patients treated with TNF-alpha inhibitors decreased from 6.3 at the start to 2.7 after six months of therapy. Significant improvements in work activity and productivity measured by the WPAI‐SpA were also found in patients treated with both TNF-alpha inhibitors compared with before treatment.

“In summary, the QUO VADIS study demonstrated improvements in health economics parameters over 6 months in a large, real‐world population of patients with AS newly treated with [golimumab] or [infliximab]. Additionally, work productivity and activity increased, and patients reported fewer days of work missed due to AS after 6 months of treatment,” the researchers concluded.