Treatment Patterns Don’t Match Recommendations for People with Lupus Nephritis
Information analyzed from a U.S. health insurance plan reveals that people with lupus nephritis (LN) are not being seen regularly enough by specialized outpatient providers, nor are they receiving optimal therapy when compared to guideline recommendations from the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism.
Researchers examined data from 1,039 people with LN covered by the insurance company and assessed their health information, treatment patterns and healthcare costs. According to the data:
- Less than half (47%) of the study population saw a nephrologist and just over one-third (36%) saw a rheumatologist over a one-year follow-up period.
- Only about half (54%) received guideline-recommended preventive therapy with hydroxychloroquine.
- 41% received immunosuppressive therapies commonly used to treat LN.
- 58% were prescribed corticosteroids, typically for more than 60 days.
- 58% of people taking corticosteroids reported adverse events related to the medication.
- Medical costs specific to LN totaled an average of $1,147 per person per month.
- All-cause medical costs for this study population averaged $45,469 per person per year.
Living with LN can be physically and economically burdensome. And with about 10% of people with LN progressing to life-threatening end stage kidney disease within 10 years, specialized medical care and treatment is essential. These latest findings underscore how improving adherence to guideline-recommended therapy and minimizing use of steroids may improve care, reduce adverse events, and lower cost. Learn more about lupus and the kidneys.