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Chen C, Hartzema AG, Xiao H, Wei YJ, Chaudhry N, Ewelukwa O, Glover SC, Zimmermann EM. Real-world Pattern of Biologic Use in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Treatment Persistence, Switching, and Importance of Concurrent Immunosuppressive Therapy. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Jul 17;25(8):1417-1427.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Medication persistence, defined as the time from drug initiation to discontinuation of therapy, has been suggested as a proxy for real-world therapeutic benefit and safety. This study seeks to compare the persistence of biologic drugs among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Patients with newly diagnosed IBD were included in a retrospective study using Truven MarketScan database. Treatment persistence and switching was compared among biologic medications including infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, golimumab, and vedolizumab. Predictors for discontinuation and switching were evaluated using time-dependent proportional hazard regression.
In total, 5612 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and 3533 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) were included in this analysis. Less than half of the patients continued using their initial biologic treatment after 1 year (48.48% in CD cohort; 44.78% in UC cohort). In the first year, adalimumab had the highest persistence and lowest switching rates for both CD (median survival time: 1.04 years) and UC (median survival time: 0.84 years). In subsequent years, infliximab users were more likely to persist in the use of biologic. Combination therapy with immunomodulators significantly decreased the risk of discontinuation, especially when immunomodulator therapy was started more than 30 days before the biologic (hazard ratio [HR], 0.22; CI, 0.16, 0.32). The major predictors for noncompliance included infection and hospitalization.
Overall, the persistence profiles of biologics suggest a high rate of dissatisfaction or adverse disease outcomes resulting in discontinuation and switching to a different agent. Early initiation of immunomodulators will substantially increase the persistence of biologic treatment.