Economic Burden of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Fewer Operations and Emerging Treatments

Pouillon, L., Travis, S., Bossuyt, P. et al. Head-to-head trials in inflammatory bowel disease: past, present and futureNat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-020-0293-9 (Thanks to KT Park for this reference)

An excerpt:

This Perspective provides an overview of the past, current and future concepts in IBD trial design, with a detailed focus on the role of comparative research and the challenges and pitfalls in undertaking and interpreting the results from such studies.

Related blog posts:

GR Lichenstein et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 889-97.  Using Truven MarketScan Insurance Claims data (2008-2015) from more than 160,000 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the authors estimated economic burdens from Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

  • For CD, lifetime incremental cost was $416,352 on average, but was $707,711 if diagnosis was established between 0-11 years of age. The lifetime costs, $622,056, consisted of $273,056 for outpatient care, $164,298 for inpatient care, $163,722 for pharmacy costs, and $20,979 for emergency room care.
  • For UC, lifetime incremental cost averaged $230,102, but was $369,955 if diagnosis was established between 0-11 years of age. The lifetime costs, $405,496, consisted of $153,670 for outpatient care, $123,190 for inpatient care, $105,142 for pharmacy costs, and $13,493 for emergency room care.
  • The lifetime costs for UC and CD were both greater than that for rheumatoid arthritis ($100,273) and for type 2 diabetes ($89,064).
  • Related blog postIBD Shorts 2020  Cost of IBD Care is Increasing. From Healio Gastro: Chronic inflammatory disease expenditures nearly double over last 2 decades

T Shinagawa et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 898-907.  In this study from Japan with 1871 patients with CD, the 5- and 10-year reoperation rates were 23.4% and 48.0% respectively.  However, reoperation rates were significantly lower after 2002 than prior with HR 0.72.  Postoperative use of immunomodulators (OR 0.60) and anti-TNF therapy (HR 0.71) were associated with a reduced the risk of reoperation.

Pipeline Medications for Ulcerative Colitis (Part 2)

To continue with topic of new medications for ulcerative colitis started yesterday -two more articles:

  • WJ Sandborn et al. Gastroenterol 2020; 158: 537-49
  • S Danese. Gastroenterol 2020; 158: 467-70 (commentary)

The first reference describes a randomized phase 2 study of mirikizumab with 249 patients.  Mirikizumab is a monoclonal antibody to the p19 subunit of IL23. A similar agent, ustekinumab is a monoclonal antibody directed at the p40 subunit of IL23 and IL12; thus mirikuzumab is more selective targeting of IL23. the authors examined response to the study drug at 3 doses: 50 mg, 200 mg, and 600 mg and compared to intravenous placebo.  All patients received dosing at weeks 0, 4, and 8. A subset of patients continued with subcutaneous treatment starting at week 12, with 47 receiving 200 mg every 4 weeks and 46 receiving 200 mg every 12 weeks. 63% of patients in this trial had previous exposure to biologics.

Key findings:

  • At week 12, 15.9% (50 mg), 22.6% (200 mg), and 11.5 % (600 mg) in the treatment groups achieved clinical remission compared to 4.8% of the placebo group
  • Clinical responses occurred in 41.3%, 59.7%, and 49.2% in the respective treatment groups compared to 20.6% in placebo group
  • At week 52, clinical remission was achieved in 46.8% of SC every 4 weeks and 37.0% every 12 weeks.

In the commentary, Danese reviews the pipeline of new drugs emerging for ulcerative colitis.  Full Text Link: New Drugs in the Ulcerative Colitis Pipeline: Prometheus Unbound

A couple of key points:

  • “Like Prometheus, who gave fire to humans and paid with the price of eternal torment, so the gift of new drugs in ulcerative colitis brings the consequence of patients with heterogeneous disease being cycled indiscriminately through similarly modestly effective agents.”
  • “Predictive biomarkers are needed” to optimize treatment and avoid ineffective and potentially harmful treatments

My take: The emergence of new treatments is welcome given the frequent loss of response or lack of response to current therapies.  Two questions: How will we decide which agent(s) is the best one to use? When will pediatric studies be available?