Impact of benralizumab on asthma exacerbation-related medical healthcare resource utilization and medical costs: results from the ZEPHYR 2 study

Journal of Medical Economics, 2023

Background and aim

Benralizumab is a biologic add-on treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma that can reduce the rate of asthma exacerbations, but data on the associated medical utilization are scarce. This retrospective study evaluated the economic value of benralizumab by analyzing healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and medical costs in a large patient population in the US.


Insurance claims data (11/2016-6/2020) were analyzed. A pre-post design was used to compare asthma exacerbation rates, medical HRU and medical costs in the 12 months pre vs. post index (day after benralizumab initiation). Patients were aged ≥12 years, with ≥2 records of benralizumab and ≥2 asthma exacerbations pre index, and constituted non-mutually exclusive cohorts: biologic-naïve, biologic-experienced (switched from omalizumab or mepolizumab to benralizumab), or with extended follow-up (18 or 24 months).


In all cohorts (mean age 51-53 years; 67-70% female; biologic-naïve, N = 1,292; biologic-experienced, N = 349; 18-month follow-up, N = 419; 24-month follow-up, N = 156), benralizumab treatment reduced the rate of asthma exacerbation by 53-68% (p < .001). In the biologic-naïve cohort, inpatient admissions decreased by 58%, emergency department visits by 54%, and outpatient visits by 58% post index (all p < .001), with similar reductions in exacerbation-related medical HRU in other cohorts. Exacerbation-related mean total medical costs decreased by 51% in the biologic-naïve cohort ($4691 pre-index, $2289 post-index), with cost differences ranging from 16% to 64% across other cohorts (prior omalizumab: $2686 to $1600; prior mepolizumab: $5990 to $5008; 18-month: $3636 to $1667; 24-month: $4014 to $1449; all p < .001). Medical HRU and cost reductions were durable, decreasing by 64% in year 1 and 66% in year 2 in the 24 month follow-up cohort.


Patients treated with benralizumab with prior exacerbations experienced reductions in asthma exacerbations and exacerbation-related medical HRU and medical costs regardless of prior biologic use, with the benefits observed for up to 24 months after treatment initiation.

View abstract


Chung Y, Maselli DJ, Mu F, Cook EE, Yang D, Young JA, Betts KA, Genofre E, Carstens D