Monoclonal Antibody Consumption Pattern in a Sponsored Tertiary-Care Healthcare System in a Developing Country: A Five-Year Study From 2013 - 2017

Background: Monoclonal antibodies are increasingly being employed in oncology, toxicology, infectious diseases and rheumatology owing to unmatched efficacy and safety; nevertheless, their usage in developing countries is restricted due to high cost to the exchequer. The newer production line of monoclonal antibodies comes forth with improved efficacy and safety of the current generation monoclonal antibodies and has led to a meteoric growth in their utility. Methods: We performed a comparative analysis of consumption pattern of monoclonal antibodies in a sponsored tertiary-care healthcare system during 2013 - 2017. The humanized anti-IgE monoclonal antibody, omalizumab, was compared with various groups of drugs used for the treatment of bronchial asthma such as combination of long-acting β-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids, short-acting β-agonists and anticholinergics, and inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene receptor antagonists. Results: The consumption pattern revealed a three-fold increase in the number of monoclonal antibodies during 2016 - 2017 compared to the three-year period from 2013 to 2015. Omalizumab incurred the highest cost burden relative to other medicines used in bronchial asthma. The comparative analysis of usage pattern of monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulators, anti-HIV drugs and all insulin preparations demonstrates annually rising cost burden of monoclonal antibodies. Conclusions: The study showed an increasing trend of healthcare costs and proportionately increasing use of monoclonal antibodies, which add to the quality of care through increased efficacy and safety. We need to accept the fact that quality comes with an additional cost burden, and costs can be optimized with economy of scale.