Haegarda and Takhzyro Reduce HAE Related Emergency Room Visits

Treatment options such as Haegarda and Takhzyro have significantly improved the treatment landscape for people living with hereditary angioedema (HAE). The treatments, used as prophylaxis, work to reduce disease burden and prevent “flares,” or attacks of painful swelling. But is the impact of these therapies all positive? A recent story in Angioedema News presents the complexities of these treatment regimens.

A study published in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings analyzed the various ways in which Haegarda and Takhzyro affect patients. It evaluated health insurance claims data from 85 individuals with HAE (38 taking Haegarda and 47 taking Takhzyro). The study found that people with HAE required less emergency medical care after beginning these treatments. Both Haegarda and Takhzyro reduced symptoms and flares. This reduced the need for hospitalizations and emergency care by nearly 50%. 

But that did not stop patient care from being extremely expensive and burdensome. Although the study found a reduced need for emergency care, the cost of care still increased overall. This was due to higher pharmacy costs, as well as outpatient visits. Therefore, the average annual medical costs for people on these therapies ranged from $734,460 to $866,639. 

However, these annual costs are actually believed to be even higher. The study did not consider indirect costs, such as childcare costs or inability to attend work. Ultimately, these findings suggest that we need to do more to increase accessibility and reduce costs for this community. 

Understanding Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)

Hereditary angioedema is a rare inherited disorder characterized by repeated episodes of severe swelling (angioedema), often in the limbs, face, airway, and intestinal tract. It is caused by gene mutations on chromosome 11. These defects prevent C1-inhibitor, a blood protein, from working correctly. Normally, C1-inhibitor regulates inflammation, blood coagulation, and more. When this protein is lacking or defective, excess bradykinin peptides build up in the body, causing fluid leakage and swelling. HAE attacks can be triggered by stress and injury, but may also occur without any known triggers. Symptoms and characteristics of HAE may include:

  • Hard, painful areas of swelling 
  • Extremities swollen to 2x the normal size
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal distention 
  • Difficulty breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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