Tomita T, Sato M, Esterberg E, Parikh RC, Hagimori K, Nakajo K. Treatment patterns and health care resource utilization among Japanese patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a hospital claims database analysis. Mod Rheumatol. 2020 Jun 19;1-11. doi: 10.1080/14397595.2020.1775927

OBJECTIVES: To understand the current state of treatment patterns and health care resource utilization among patients in Japan with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) managed in the real-world setting.

METHODS: Patient records from the Medical Data Vision database were analyzed to identify patients with ICD-10 AS from April 2009 through July 2017. Measures evaluated included demographic, clinical, and other characteristics at diagnosis; treatment patterns; health care resource utilization; and costs.

RESULTS: Four hundred and seventeen patients met the study’s inclusion criteria. Treatments observed during the first year after the initial AS diagnosis included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (79.6%), corticosteroids (39.3%), methotrexate (22.3%), sulfasalazine (16.8%), adalimumab (14.2%), and infliximab (12.2%). At any time during the mean 33 months of study follow-up, biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) were initiated by 115 patients. During the study follow-up, patients who initiated bDMARDs had higher median total per-patient annual health care costs (¥2,983,425 vs ¥1,697,132), lower median per-patient hospitalization costs (¥3,302,431 vs. ¥4,375,910), and fewer median hospital days per admission (7.0 vs. 11.0 days) compared with the overall group of patients diagnosed with AS.

CONCLUSION: The study outcomes demonstrate a need for increased awareness of proper AS diagnosis and management.

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