Half of chronic urticaria patients are not receiving any treatment despite significant disease burden

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Novartis announced new baseline results from a real world study of 3,733 chronic urticaria (CU) patients showing many are not receiving adequate care, with almost half (42%) not receiving any treatment at all for the debilitating disease despite 83% suffering a negative impact on their quality of life.

The findings are consistent with earlier research that found much chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) patients are not treated according to recommended guidelines that include Xolair® (omalizumab) – the only licensed option for CSU, a type of CU. The findings were presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Annual Congress in Helsinki, Finland.

The results are part of the worldwide non-interventional AWARE study. These data from 12 European countries reveal the significant impact of CU – a severe disease that causes itchy, persistent hives and painful swelling for at least 6 weeks and in a substantial number of cases even years or decades. Symptoms may occur in visible and highly-sensitive areas of the body, such as around the eyelids, lips, and mouth, and the psychological and social impact of the disease is significant.

“Chronic urticaria is a serious disease that greatly impacts the quality of life, yet seems to be severely undertreated,” said Vas Narasimhan, Global Head, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis.

“These findings reinforce the urgent need to improve the management of chronic urticaria in line with treatment guidelines, calling for a treatment goal of a ‘symptom-free patient’.”

More than half of the patients reported the effect of CU on their QOL as moderate, very large, or extremely large. This substantial QOL impact was observed in 51% in Southern European countries (Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece), 54% of patients in Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, and Denmark), 56% of German patients, 61% of UK patients, and as many as 85% of Russian patients.

Importantly, many patients receiving treatment still reported a substantial QOL impact, indicating inadequate symptom relief even in those currently on therapy. Nordic patients were most likely to be receiving any treatment (74%), followed by patients in Germany (61%), South European countries (58%), the UK (52%), and Russia (39%).

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