Retrospective Analysis of Onychomycosis Prescribing Patterns Using the Medicare Part D Prescribers Database 2016-2020

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Onychomycosis, defined as a fungal nail infection, affects 5.5% of the global population. Our objectives were to analyse prescription trends of onychomycosis medications using the Medicare Part D Prescribers database from 2016 to 2020, stratified by physician specialty. There was a 4% annual increase in the total cost of onychomycosis medications, with a notable decrease of 12.8% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians demonstrated a strong consideration for price when selecting treatments, with the least expensive medications (ciclopirox and terbinafine) accounting for nearly 99% of all prescriptions. In contrast, the more costly medications (efinaconazole and tavaborole) were rarely prescribed. In addition, physicians often opted for the less costly generic versions of ciclopirox and itraconazole, prescribing them 99% and 91% of the time, respectively. Notably, physician assistants and nurse practitioners had higher overall increases in prescription rates, at 15%, compared to 1%-6% for other specialties. There are no recent United States onychomycosis guidelines, and our study emphasizes cost considerations when prescribing onychomycosis treatments.