Background and aims: Severe asthma is burdened by frequent exacerbations and use of oral corticosteroids (OCS) which worsen patients’ health and increase healthcare spending. Aim of this study was to assess the clinical and economic effect of adding mepolizumab (MEP) for the treatment of these patients. Methods: Patients >18 years old, referred to 8 asthma clinics, starting MEP between May 2017 and December 2018, were enrolled and followed-up for 12 months. Information in the 12 months before mepolizumab were collected retrospectively. The evaluation parameters included: OCS use, number of exacerbations/hospitalizations, concomitant therapies, comorbidity, and annual number of working days lost due to the disease. The primary objective was to compare the annual total cost per patient pre- and post-MEP. Secondary outcomes included rates of exacerbations and number of OCS-dependent patients. Results: 106 patients were enrolled in the study: 46 male, median age 58 years. Mean annual cost pre- and post-MEP (cost of biologic excluded) was €3996 and €1,527, respectively. Total savings due to MEP resulted in €2469 (95%CI 1945–2993), 62% due to exacerbations reduction and 33% due to productivity increase. Such savings could fund about 22% of the total cost of MEP for one year. The introduction of MEP induced a clinical benefit by reducing both OCS-dependent patients (OR = 0.12, 95%CI 0.06–0.23) and exacerbation rate (RR = 0.19, 95%CI 0.15–0.24). Conclusions: Patients with severe eosinophilic asthma experienced a clinical benefit in asthma control adding MEP to standard therapy. Biologic therapy can be, partially, funded by the savings produced by patients’ improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100509
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Anti IL-5
  • Comorbidities
  • Mepolizumab
  • OCS
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Severe asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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