OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine real-world differences in healthcare resource utilization of indolent non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (iNHL) patients treated with first-line ibrutinib monotherapy (IM) or first-line bendamustine + rituximab (BR) combination therapy using U.S. administrative claims data.

METHODS: The MarketScan® Research Databases were used to identify patients aged 18 years or older with commercial or Medicare supplemental insurance plans based on their first prescription (index date) of either IM or BR therapy between 02/01/2014 and 08/30/2017. Patients were required to be diagnosed with iNHL and be treatment naïve, as well as be continuously enrolled (CE) for 6 months prior to and at least 30 days following the index date. All-cause and iNHL-related healthcare resource utilization (e.g., inpatient admission (IP) and emergency room (ER) visits) were evaluated during a 12-month follow-up period from the index date among the subset of patients with 12 months of continuous enrollment and reported per-patient per-month (PPPM). Statistical differences in the distribution of IP and ER visits between the IM versus BR therapy groups were estimated using chi-squared test for categorical variables and t-test for continuous variables.

RESULTS: A total of 1,544 iNHL patients were identified, with 207 patients in the IM cohort and 1,337 patients in the BR cohort. The IM cohort was significantly older (mean = 68.3 years; SD = 11.8) then the BR cohort (mean age = 62.1 years; SD = 11.1). The proportion of females was significantly (p<.05) lower in the IM cohort (36%) relative to the BR cohort (49%). The two cohorts did not differ in comorbidity as assessed by National Cancer Institute Comorbidity Index score (IM=0.7 vs. BR=0.8, p=0.40). The results of the comparisons between the two groups with 12 months of follow-up (IM = 110; BR = 745) are provided in Table 1. For all-cause healthcare utilization, the proportion of IM patients experiencing at least one IP admission was significantly higher than the BR cohort as were the PPPM number of admissions. The proportion of patients with at least one ER visit was similar in the IM and BR cohorts. However, the average PPPM number of ER visits was significantly higher in the IM cohort relative to the BR cohort. A similar pattern was found for the iNHL-related healthcare utilization variables with one exception. The proportion of patients with at least one iNHL-related ER visit was significantly higher in the IM relative to the BR cohort.

Conclusions: The current study examined differences in healthcare utilization among iNHL-patients treated in a front-line setting with either ibrutinib or BR combination therapy. Results indicated that not only did more ibrutinib patients experience an IP admission and ER visits, including both all-cause and iNHL-related, but they also experienced more repeat admissions and ER visits. These real-world findings highlight the importance of considering the healthcare resource utilization of iNHL patients which may be associated with their first-line therapy.


Irwin:Teva: Consultancy. Zhang:Teva: Consultancy. Wilson:Teva: Consultancy. Hoehn:Teva: Employment. Szabo:Teva: Employment. Tang:Teva: Employment.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.