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09-03-2017 | Systemic lupus erythematosus | Article

Belimumab use, clinical outcomes and glucocorticoid reduction in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus receiving belimumab in clinical practice settings: results from the OBSErve Canada Study

Rheumatology International

Authors: Zahi Touma, Amyn Sayani, Christian A. Pineau, Isabelle Fortin, Mark Matsos, George A. Ecker, Andrew Chow, Sandra Iczkovitz

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


To describe the characteristics of patients receiving belimumab, overall patterns of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) care, clinical outcomes, and changes in glucocorticoid dose following 6 months of therapy with belimumab, and healthcare resource utilization in belimumab users in Canadian clinical practice settings. Retrospective multicenter medical chart review study of adult patients with SLE who were prescribed belimumab as part of usual care and who received ≥8 infusions or 6 months of treatment. Primary endpoints included physician-determined overall clinical improvement from baseline, glucocorticoid use, and physician-determined SLE disease severity at Month 6. In total, 52 patients were included in the study. At belimumab initiation, 5.8/76.9/17.3% of patients had mild/moderate/severe SLE, respectively. Oral glucocorticoids were discontinued in 11.4% of patients and 59.1% received a lower dose at Month 6. At Month 6, 80.8/57.7/17.3% of patients had a physician-determined clinical improvement of ≥20/≥50/≥80%, respectively. Sixteen patients had a SLE Disease Activity Index-2K score at both baseline and Month 6, with a mean improvement of 2.6 ± 5.3 from 8.1 ± 3.2 at baseline. No formal disease assessment tool was utilized for 42.3% of study patients at baseline. This study provides the first real-world insights into belimumab use in Canada. It demonstrates significant reduction or discontinuation of glucocorticoid dose in 70.5% of patients and clinically significant improvement following 6 months’ belimumab therapy. The high number of patients with no formal disease activity assessments highlights a key care gap in SLE treatment in the real-world setting.

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