Quantifying the Use of Multiple Topical Plaque Psoriasis Agents in Patients with Plaque Psoriasis

Topical agents for the first-line treatment of plaque psoriasis (PsO) are frequently combined to accommodate patient characteristics like lesion location, treatment duration, and extent of use limitations. However, according to an article by B. Venker and colleagues, no published data has fully described the number topical agents used among patients with PsO. Their study, awarded a gold medal ahead of its presentation at AMCP 2022, revealed that over half of patients with PsO had filled prescriptions for two or more unique topical agents in a one-year period.

The researchers utilized retrospective data from a proprietary health care claims dataset between 2016 and 2020. Patients included in the final analysis had their PsO prescription claims in the year following their indexing recorded. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who filled two or more unique agents, while the secondary endpoint was the proportion of those meeting the primary endpoint who had a total days’ supply for all topical therapy that was >90 days.

Among a total of 915,148 patients with PsO in the dataset, 47,724 were eligible for inclusion in the study cohort. Patients were a mean of 50 years old, 58% female, and most had commercial insurance (68%). The researchers observed that 64% (30,722) of patients had filled prescriptions for two or more unique topical agents. Furthermore, among those patients 15% (4,711) had filled five or more unique topical agents. Per the secondary endpoint, the investigators observed that 60% (18,535) of patients who were using more than one unique topical agent had >90 total days’ supply.

Ultimately, the authors deemed that there was a “substantial” prevalence of patients taking multiple unique topical PsO agents. They presented their quantitative findings as a foundation for future investigation into PsO treatment, and further suggested that “innovative therapies may address the number of unique topical agents a patients with PsO uses.”