Lupus Drug Benlysta Helps Reduce Healthcare Costs Related to Disease Flares
In addition to reducing lupus flare risk and frequency, the drug Benlysta® can also minimize healthcare costs, according to a new study. Benlysta is a prescription medication to treat lupus and lupus nephritis (LN) administered intravenously (IV) or as an injection beneath the skin. The study examined healthcare costs incurred by people with lupus who were being treated with Benlysta via injection compared to those receiving a placebo (a harmless pill used in clinical trials for a comparison) in addition to standard therapy.
During the trial period, fewer people treated with Benlysta experienced lupus flares (including severe flares), and they experienced flares less often than those receiving the placebo. And, the average medical costs associated with the treatment of flares of any severity, including severe flares, were significantly reduced for those in the Benlysta group. For severe flares, the average treatment cost was $927 lower with Benlysta treatment. For flares of any severity, the average cost savings was $1,379.
Study author Christopher Bell, MS shared, "Treatment strategies for SLE focus on symptom management, disease activity and flare reduction, organ damage prevention, and patient quality of life improvement. Our study focuses on one aspect of this strategy, flare reduction. Specifically, we conducted a post-hoc economic analysis of BLISS-SC, a Phase III clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous belimumab (Benlysta) for the treatment of SLE. In the analysis, healthcare costs per flare were applied to the number of flares observed in the belimumab and placebo arms of the BLISS-SC clinical trial to quantify the costs of treating flares. Results suggested that, belimumab as compared with placebo, reduced the risk of flares and that the reduced risk was associated with cost savings of treating flares."
Lupus treatment can be a significant economic burden and disease flares can be particularly costly. The latest data demonstrate that treatment with Benlysta can offer the extra benefit of healthcare cost savings in addition to minimizing flares. Talk with your physician before making changes to your medication and learn more about Benlysta: what you need to know.