Long-term Takhzyro treatment linked to lower US healthcare costs
24% reduction in HAE treatment costs for patients on Takhzyro: claims analysis
Healthcare costs continuously dropped for people with hereditary angioedema (HAE) who were on long-term preventive treatment with Takhzyro (lanadelumab), according to a retrospective analysis of healthcare insurance claims from a U.S. database.
Findings were reported in a study, “Real-world changes in costs over time among patients in the United States with hereditary angioedema on long-term prophylaxis with lanadelumab,” published in the Journal of Medical Economics. The study was funded by Takeda, the company that markets Takhzyro.
Takhzyro approved as preventive treatment to limit HAE swelling attacks
HAE is characterized by symptoms such as sudden and recurrent swelling attacks in the deeper layers of the skin, the upper airways, and the gastrointestinal tract.
Takhzyro is approved as a prophylactic (preventive) treatment to limit swelling attacks in adults and children with HAE. The antibody-based therapy is designed to block the activity of kallikrein, a protein that regulates the levels of a signaling molecule called bradykinin. In HAE, excessive bradykinin production triggers the potentially life-threatening swelling attacks experienced by patients.
The recommended dose of Takhzyro for HAE patients 12 and older is 300 mg, delivered as an under-the-skin (subcutaneous) injection once every two weeks. The recommended dose for younger children is 150 mg — every four weeks those ages 2 to 5 and every two weeks for ages 6 to 11.
Researchers at Takeda along with colleagues at the University of Maryland and Merative, a company focused on healthcare data analysis, assessed the cost trends associated with Takhzyro among HAE patients in the U.S. They also evaluated overall treatment costs, including those associated with acute medication and short-term prophylaxis, as well as supportive care.
To that end, they conducted a retrospective analysis of healthcare insurance claims in the Merative MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Databases that had been filed between July 2017 and June 30, 2022.
To be included in the study, patients had to have at least one claim for Takhzyro in the period from January 2018 to June 2022, and to be on the treatment for at least 18 months (1.5 years), with no more than 60 days without a supply of the medication.
The researchers assessed the costs of Takhzyro and other HAE treatments every six months during the 18 months of follow-up.
From a total of 265 patients initially identified, 54 met all eligibility criteria and were included in the analysis. Nearly all of them (94%) were commercially insured and 59.3% were women.
Over time, Takhzyro’s costs were significantly reduced: from $316,724 in the first six months to $246,919 in the last six months. Overall HAE treatment costs also followed the same trend, dropping from $377,076 in first six months to $286,074 in the last six months.
US insurance claims for Takhzyro, other HAE treatments decreased over time
Consistent with these findings, the number of claims for Takhzyro and other acute and short-term prophylactic treatments also decreased with time. While a mean of 6.7 claims had been filed for Takhzyro in the first six months, by the end of follow-up that number had dropped to 5.7.
Healthcare use, including the number of outpatient office visits and prescription claims also trended lower, although that decrease was not statistically significant.
Takhzyro dose reductions were documented in 25 patients (46.3%) during follow-up. As expected, Takhzyro costs were lower for patients whose dosages were reduced, as were total HAE costs. Specifically, Takhzyro costs were 43.7% lower in patients for whom dosing had been reduced, while total HAE costs were 53% lower.
Overall, “patients on long-term prophylaxis with lanadelumab experienced a significant reduction (24%) in HAE treatment costs over 18 months, driven by lower costs of acute medications and lanadelumab down titration [reduced dosing],” the researchers wrote.
They added that these findings support the notion that reducing Takhzyro dosing “among appropriate patients with controlled HAE may lead to substantial savings in healthcare costs.”