Spherix Global Insights

September 28, 2021

Uptake of Baricitinib For The Treatment of Moderate-To-Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Germany

Author: Gianna Melendez


Since 2017, dupilumab has been the only advanced systemic option for patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD), leaving a large unmet need for new treatments. Though widely perceived as efficacious and safe, most EU5 dermatologists agree that the biologic does not work well in all moderate-to-severe AD patients. In October 2020, the EMA approved baricitinib for the treatment of moderate-to-severe adult AD patients, making it the first oral Janus kinases (JAK) inhibitor approved in the EU. This study sought to understand the uptake of baricitinib in Germany a few months post-approval.

An independent market analytics firm collaborated with EU5 dermatologists (n=249), including physicians from France (n=44), Germany (n=51), Italy (n=54), Spain (n=50), and the UK (n=50). Fieldwork was conducted from December 19, 2020 to January 21, 2021. Data collected included physician demographics, treatment perceptions, attitudinal survey responses, and future market changes.

The majority of surveyed German dermatologists were aware of baricitinib’s 2020 EMA approval, indicating moderate familiarity and high satisfaction with the agent. Additionally, most German dermatologists report baricitinib is surpassing expectations, and as such, 61% are prescribing the agent to an average of three patients within one month. Advanced systemic treatment share for baricitinib is greatest amongst severe adult patients, though significantly lags behind dupilumab. The majority of baricitinib patients are often switched from an alternative AD treatment or had the agent added to the current treatment regimen, while one-fifth of patients were prescribed baricitinib as the first systemic agent. In most patients, baricitinib is being used as long-term maintenance therapy, with less than one-quarter of patients using the oral JAK for flare management. Of note, one-in-ten patients have experienced a flare while on treatment, with the first flare occurring 7.5 weeks after initiation. As a result, only a few patients have discontinued – mainly a result of COVID-19, dosing/administration, and tolerability/side effects. All German dermatologists that are not currently prescribing the oral JAK intend to do so at some point in the future. Most sampled German respondents indicate safety concerns as the greatest barrier to use.

Despite improvements moderate-to-severe AD patients have experienced with dupilumab, dermatologists still desire an alternative treatment. Since the approval of baricitinib in late 2020, baricitinib has had a strong prescriber base amongst German dermatologists, with respondents reporting high satisfaction with the first oral JAK and note it has exceeded expectations. Despite this, patient initiations within the past month are low, likely a result of safety concerns, which may continue to blunt uptake.

GM: Spherix Global Insights, Exton, PA, USA