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Pamala A. Pawloski, Cara L. McDermott, James H. Marshall, Vanita Pindolia, Catherine M. Lockhart, Catherine A. Panozzo, Jeffrey S. Brown, and Bernadette Eichelberger

Background: Chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) is prevented or minimized with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs). Several G-CSF biosimilars are approved in the United States. The Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) is a nonprofit initiative whose objective is to provide scientific evidence on real-world use and comparative safety and effectiveness of biologics and biosimilars using the BBCIC distributed research network (DRN). Patients and Methods: We describe real-world G-CSF use in patients with breast or lung cancer receiving first-cycle chemotherapy associated with high FN risk. We assessed hospitalizations for FN, availability of absolute neutrophil counts, and G-CSF–induced adverse events to inform future observational comparative effectiveness studies of G-CSF reference products and their biosimilars. A descriptive analysis of 5 participating national health insurance plans was conducted within the BBCIC DRN. Results: A total of 57,725 patients who received at least one G-CSF dose were included. Most (92.5%) patients received pegfilgrastim. FN hospitalization rates were evaluated by narrow (<0.5%), intermediate (1.91%), and broad (2.99%) definitions. Anaphylaxis and hyperleukocytosis were identified in 1.15% and 2.28% of patients, respectively. This analysis provides real-world evidence extracted from a large, readily available database of diverse patients, characterizing G-CSF reference product use to inform the feasibility of future observational comparative safety and effectiveness analyses of G-CSF biosimilars. We showed that the rates of FN and adverse events in our research network are consistent with those reported by previous small studies. Conclusions: Readily available BBCIC DRN data can be used to assess G-CSF use with the incidence of FN hospitalizations. Insufficient laboratory result data were available to report absolute neutrophil counts; however, other safety data are available for assessment that provide valuable baseline data regarding the effectiveness and safety of G-CSFs in preparation for comparative effectiveness studies of reference G-CSFs and their biosimilars.