Increased Adherence, Symptom Improvement Seen when Psoriasis patients switch to IL-17 Blockers image

New data points to increased adherence and improvement in symptoms for psoriasis patients who switch to interleukin-17 inhibitors.

The study, which was conducted with Walgreens, a parent company of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, was presented at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy's annual meeting in Washington D.C.

Researchers analyzed 5,215 records from a national specialty pharmacy database of patients prescribed any of three FDA-approved IL-17 inhibitors from January 2016 through December 2017. They also studied any prior biologic medication utilization in the preceding 12 months of IL-17 therapy initiation. Researchers followed the patients for 180 days after starting the newer IL-17 inhibitor.

Of the 5,215-study sample, 2,218 (42.5 percent) switched from a prior treatment. The most common reason for switching medications was "ineffective treatment" (64.7 percent).

"Patients who switched to the newer IL-17 inhibitor medications increased their adherence levels by 8.4 percent, and a large minority (45.7 percent) repeatedly reported improvement in their condition up to six months after switching," says Francis Staskon, senior analyst for health analytics, research and reporting at Walgreens, and an analyst of the study, in a news release.

Providers may be comfortable with prescribing IL-17 inhibitors as a first line of treatment for psoriasis, says Rick Miller, vice president, clinical and professional services at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. "More than half of the patients included in the study (57.5 percent) initiated therapy on an IL-17 inhibitor – with 42.5 percent of the patients switching to an IL-17 inhibitor from a prior biologic medication."

He adds: "Payers may see more of their members being prescribed IL-17 inhibitors and will need to determine the appropriate placement of these newer agents within their formulary."New data points to increased adherence and improvement in symptoms for psoriasis patients who switch to interleukin-17 inhibitors.