Study Spotlights Rising Use, Spending on Asthma Biologics

A recently released study from Prime Therapeutics LLC highlights an eyebrow-raising trend: Over the last two and a half years, the number of the PBM’s commercially insured members with asthma who used biologic medicines nearly doubled, and so did spending on those drugs.

Prime, which is owned by 18 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, examined integrated pharmacy and medical claims from 14 million commercially insured members from January 2017 to June 2019. It found that the number of members with an asthma diagnosis using one of five asthma biologics — Cinqair (reslizumab), Dupixent (dupilumab), Fasenra (benralizumab), Nucala (mepolizumab) and Xolair (omalizumab) — increased by 78%, from 3.3 users per 10,000 members to 5.8 out of 10,000.

© 2021 MMIT

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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