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Methotrexate, Cyclosporine Least Costly Meds for Psoriasis

Infliximab, ustekinumab 90 mg most costly therapies based on number needed to treat to achieve PASI 75

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Methotrexate and cyclosporine have the lowest monthly cost for treating psoriasis, according to a systematic review published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Association of Dermatology.

Logan S. D'Souza, M.D., and Michael J. Payette, M.D., M.B.A., from the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, conducted a systematic literature review of systemic psoriasis treatments that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The authors standardized total expenses by calculating cost per month of treatment considering the number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve a 75 percent reduction in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score (PASI 75).

The researchers found that the lowest monthly costs per NNT to achieve PASI 75 were seen for methotrexate ($794.05 to $1,502.51) and cyclosporine ($1,410.14 to $1,843.55). Infliximab ($8,704.68 to $15,235.52) and ustekinumab 90 mg ($12,505.26 to $14,256.75) were the most costly therapies. To achieve PASI 75, the monthly costs per NNT for other therapies were $2,924.73 for narrowband ultraviolet B light photography, $3,974.61 to $7,678.78 for adalimumab, $4,137.71 to $14,148.53 for acitretin, $7,177.89 to $7,263.99 for ustekinumab 45 mg, $7,499.46 to $8,834.98 psoralen plus ultraviolet A light phototherapy, and $8,284.71 to $10,674.89 for etanercept.

"Our study provides meaningful cost efficacy data that may influence psoriasis treatment selection," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

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