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BACKGROUND: Aminosalicylates are the most frequently prescribed drugs for patients with Crohn's disease (CD), yet evidence to support their efficacy as induction or maintenance therapy is controversial. AIMS: To quantify aminosalicylate use in CD clinical trials, identify factors associated with use and estimate direct annual treatment costs of therapy. METHODS: MEDLINE, Embase and CENTRAL were searched to April 2017 for placebo-controlled trials in adults with CD treated with corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or biologics. The proportion of patients co-prescribed aminosalicylates in placebo arms was pooled using a random-effects model. Meta-regression was used to identify factors associated with aminosalicylate use. Annual treatment costs were estimated using the 2016 Ontario Drug Benefit Program. RESULTS: Forty-two induction and 10 maintenance trials were included. The pooled proportion of patients co-prescribed aminosalicylates was 44% [95% CI: 39%-49%] in induction trials and 49% [95% CI: 35%-64%] in maintenance trials. There was substantial to considerable heterogeneity (I2  = 86.0%, 91.8% for induction and maintenance trials, respectively). In multivariable meta-regression, aminosalicylate use has decreased over time in induction trials (OR 0.50 [95% CI: 0.34-0.74] per 10-year increment). While a decline has been seen over time, 35% of CD patients were still using aminosalicylates in contemporary trials from the last 5 years. The estimated annual cost for the lowest price mesalazine (mesalamine) formulation is approximately $32 million for the Canadian CD population. CONCLUSIONS: Over one-third of CD patients entering clinical trials are still co-prescribed aminosalicylates. A definitive trial is needed to inform the conventional practice of using aminosalicylates as CD maintenance therapy.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/apt.14821

Type

Journal article

Journal

Aliment pharmacol ther

Publication Date

07/2018

Volume

48

Pages

114 - 126