Treatment Patterns and Healthcare Resource Utilization Among Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using German Health Claims Data

Marie Schild, Valeria Weber, Diamant Thaçi, Agnes Kisser, Wolfgang Galetzka, Dirk Enders, Franziska Zügel, Christoph Ohlmeier, Holger Gothe*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory skin disease. Many patients are initiating a systemic therapy, if the disease is not adequately controlled with topical treatment only. Currently, there is little real-world evidence on the AD-related medical care situation in Germany. This study analyzed patient characteristics, treatment patterns, healthcare resource utilization and costs associated with systemically treated AD for the German healthcare system. Methods: In this descriptive, retrospective cohort study, aggregated anonymized German health claims data from the InGef research database were used. Within a representative sample of four million insured individuals, patients with AD and systemic drug therapy initiation (SDTI) in the index year 2017 were identified and included into the study cohort. Systemic drug therapy included dupilumab, systemic corticosteroids (SCS) and systemic immunosuppressants (SIS). Patients were observed for one year starting from the date of SDTI in 2017. Results: 9975 patients were included (57.8% female, mean age 39.6 years [SD 25.5]). In the one-year observation period, the most common systemic drug therapy was SCS (> 99.0%). Administrations of dupilumab (0.3%) or dispensations of SIS were rare (cyclosporine: 0.5%, azathioprine: 0.6%, methotrexate: 0.1%). Median treatment duration of SCS, cyclosporine and azathioprine was 27 days, 102 days, and 109 days, respectively. 2.8% of the patients received phototherapy; 41.6% used topical corticosteroids and/or topical calcineurin inhibitor. Average annual costs for medications amounted to € 1237 per patient. Outpatient services were used by 99.6% with associated mean annual costs of € 943; 25.4% had at least one hospitalization (mean annual costs: € 5836). 5.3% of adult patients received sickness benefits with associated mean annual costs of € 5026. Conclusions: Despite unfavorable risk–benefit profile, this study demonstrated a common treatment with SCS, whereas other systemic drug therapy options were rarely used. Furthermore, the results suggest a substantial economic burden for patients with AD and SDTI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDermatology and therapy
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1925-1945
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 08.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Centers: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-19 Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment Patterns and Healthcare Resource Utilization Among Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using German Health Claims Data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this