The pharmacoeconomics of the state-of-the-art Drug treatments for Asthma: A systematic Review

Francesco Menzella, Carla Galeone, Giulia Ghidoni, Patrizia Ruggiero, Maria D. Amato, Matteo Fontana, Nicola Facciolongo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by significant morbidities and mortality, with a large impact on socio-economic resources and a considerable burden on health-care systems. In the standard care of asthma, inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) associated with long-acting β-adrenoceptor agonists (LABA) are a reliable and often cost-effective choice, especially if based on the single inhaler therapy (SIT) strategy; however, in a subset of patients it is not possible to reach an adequate asthma control. In these cases, it is possible to resort to other pharmacologic options, including corticosteroids (OCS) or biologics. Unfortunately, OCS are associated with important side effects, whilst monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) allow excellent results, even if far more expensive. Up to now, the economic impact of asthma has not been compared with equivalent indicators in several studies. In fact, a significant heterogeneity of the cost analysis is evident in literature, for which the assessment of the real cost-effectiveness of asthma therapies is remarkably complex. To maximize the cost-effectiveness of asthma strategies, especially of biologics, attention must be paid on phenotyping and identification of predictors of response. Several studies were included, involving comparative analysis of drug treatments for asthma, comparative analysis of the costs and consequences of therapies, measurement and evaluation of direct drug costs, and the reduction of health service use. The initial research identified 389 articles, classified by titles and abstracts. A total of 311 articles were excluded as irrelevant and 78 articles were selected. Pharmacoeconomic studies on asthma therapies often report conflicting data also due to heterogeneous indicators and different populations examined. A careful evaluation of the existing literature is extremely important, because the scenario is remarkably complex, with an attempt to homogenize and interpret available data. Based on these studies, the improvement of prescriptive appropriateness and the reduction of the use of healthcare resources thanks to controller medications and to innovative therapies such as biologics partially reduce the economic burden of these treatments. A multidisciplinary stakeholder approach can also be extremely helpful in deciding between the available options and thus optimizing healthcare resources. commercial use only

Original languageEnglish
Article number787
JournalMultidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Asthma
  • Biologics
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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