Dupilumab for AD May Reduce Work, School Absenteeism

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Dupilumab displayed significant reductions in work and school absenteeism with associated cost savings.

Patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) who were treated with dupilumab experienced significant reductions in work and school absenteeism compared with patients who were treated with placebo, according to findings from the SOLO clinical trials published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

In this trial, patients with moderate to severe AD that was poorly controlled by topical therapies were randomly assigned to either subcutaneous 300 mg dupilumab or subcutaneous placebo. Treatment was received weekly for a total of 16 weeks. The investigators examined the rate of absenteeism in participants, which was defined as the mean number of missed days from work and/or school. In addition, costs related to absenteeism were examined for patients who reported full-time employment or school (ie, ≥4 days/week).

At week 4, patients who received dupilumab every 2 weeks and once per week missed a lower mean number of days per week at work/school compared with patients treated with placebo (mean missed days per patient-year, 5.4 and 7.0 vs 12.1 days, respectively). By week 16, the annualized absenteeism rates were significantly lower within the group of patients randomly assigned to dupilumab (3.5 vs 4.7; P <.0001).

The reductions in absenteeism with dupilumab was also associated with lower productivity costs. For the hypothetical cohort, based on an annualized reduction of 5.6 days per patient-year with dupilumab every 2 weeks, the annual avoided productivity costs were $16.2 million in the United States, EUR 15.3 million in Germany, EUR 14.1 million in France, EUR 12.6 million in Italy, GBP 10.1 million in the United Kingdom, and EUR 9.5 million in Spain.

Limitations of the study included its controlled environment and the short treatment and follow-up duration of only 16 weeks.

The investigators concluded that “the productivity burden of AD on patients with inadequately controlled disease is substantial but may be ameliorated with dupilumab treatment,” but additional real-world data are needed to determine if these findings hold true in a non-trial setting.

Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


de Bruin-Weller M, Simpson EL, Cork M, et al. Dupilumab reduces absenteeism in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis: pooled results from the LIBERTY AD SOLO clinical trials [published online June 3, 2020]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.05.142