HOUSTON — Patients who began biologic treatment for asthma tended to have more progressive worsening of disease in the previous 2 years, according to data presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting, held November 7-11, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of patient claims data from Symphony Health between January 2014 and October 2018. Patients were included if they were aged ≥18 years, had ≥2 claims indicating asthma on separate dates, ≥2 years of no biologic therapy leading up to initiation (index date), and 2 years of continuous activity before the index date. Treatment with oral corticosteroids and asthma-related emergency department visits and/or hospitalizations were considered key indicators of exacerbations.

A total of 25,416 patients were included in the analysis, and 2 years before biologic therapy was initiated, 56% required oral corticosteroids, 26% experienced emergency department visits, and 13% had asthma-related hospitalizations. Omalizumab was the first biologic prescribed in 64% of patients, mepolizumab in 28%, benralizumab in 6%, and reslizumab in 2%. Mepolizumab was prescribed at similar rate by allergists (46%) and pulmonologists (47%). However, allergists more frequently prescribed the other biologics (omalizumab, benralizumab, and reslizumab).

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Overall, the researchers noted, allergists tended to prescribe biologics more often than pulmonologists.


Pennington E, Camargo C, Hanania N, et al. Indicators of asthma exacerbation before initiation of biologic therapy: a real-world experience. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019; November 7-11, 2019; Houston, TX. Abstract P210.