Treatment of Very Early Rheumatoid Arthritis With Symptomatic Therapy, Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, or Biologic Agents A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Article (PDF Available)inAnnals of internal medicine 151(9):612-21 · November 2009with120 Reads
DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-151-9-200911030-00006 · Source: PubMed
Long-term control or remission of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be possible with very early treatment. However, no optimal first therapeutic strategy has been determined. To assess the potential cost-effectiveness of major therapeutic strategies for very early RA. Decision analytic model with probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Published data, the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, and actual 2007 hospital costs. U.S. adults with very early RA (symptom duration <or=3 months). Lifetime. Health care provider and societal. 3 management strategies were compared: a symptomatic or "pyramid" strategy with initial nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, patient education, pain management, and low-dose glucocorticoids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) at 1 year for nonresponders; early DMARD therapy with methotrexate; and early therapy with biologics and methotrexate. Cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. By reducing the progression of joint erosions and subsequent functional disability, both early intervention strategies increase quality-adjusted life more than the pyramid strategy and save long-term costs. When the cost of very early intervention is factored in, the cost-effectiveness ratio of the early DMARD strategy is $4849 per QALY (95% CI, $0 to $16 354 per QALY) compared with the pyramid strategy, whereas the benefits gained through the early biologic strategy come at a substantial incremental cost. The early DMARD strategy maximizes the effectiveness of early DMARDs and reserves the use of biologics for patients with more treatment-resistant disease of longer duration, for which the incremental benefit of biologics is greater. The early biologic strategy becomes more cost-effective if drug prices are reduced, risk for death is permanently lowered through biologic therapy, patients experience drug-free remission, responders can be selected before therapy initiation, or effective alternative antirheumatic agents are available for patients for whom several biologics have failed. Data on the long-term effect of very early therapeutic interventions on the natural progression in disability and joint erosions are limited. The study considered only tumor necrosis factor inhibitors and not the newer biologics. According to the most objective measures of RA progression, very early intervention with conventional DMARDs is cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness of very early intervention with biologics remains uncertain.

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Available from: Carlo A Marra, Dec 16, 2014
    • "If both direct and indirect costs were considered , ICERs for biologics were slightly more favourable. Three out of the seven studies examined the cost-effectiveness of different treatment strategies for early RA including TNFi in all treatment options, with only its time of usage in a treatment sequence being altered [19,27,30]. Two studies found a late introduction of TNFi to be a dominant strategy compared to initiation of the treatment with TNFi. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Economic evaluations provide information to aid the optimal utilization of limited healthcare resources. Costs of biologics for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are remarkably high, which makes these agents an important target for economic evaluations. This systematic review aims to identify existing studies examining the cost-effectiveness of biologics for RA, assess their quality and report their results systematically.A literature search covering Medline, Scopus, Cochrane library, ACP Journal club and Web of Science was performed in March 2013. The cost-utility analyses (CUAs) of one or more available biological drugs for the treatment of RA in adults were included. Two independent investigators systematically collected information and assessed the quality of the studies. To enable the comparison of the results, all costs were converted to 2013 euro.Of the 4890 references found in the literature search, 41 CUAs were included in the current systematic review. While considering only direct costs, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) ranged from 39,000 to 1,273,000 €/quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained in comparison to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (cDMARDs) in cDMARD naïve patients. Among patients with an insufficient response to cDMARDs, biologics were associated with ICERs ranging from 12,000 to 708,000 €/QALY. Rituximab was found to be the most cost-effective alternative compared to other biologics among the patients with an insufficient response to TNFi.When 35,000 €/QALY is considered as a threshold for the ICER, TNFis do not seem to be cost-effective among cDMARD naïve patients and patients with an insufficient response to cDMARDs. With thresholds of 50,000 to 100,000 €/QALY biologics might be cost-effective among patients with an inadequate response to cDMARDs. Standardization of multiattribute utility instruments and a validated standard conversion method for missing utility measures would enable better comparison between CUAs.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
    • "Brennan et al. [58] use their model from 2004 with data from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Registry (BSRBR) for 8,000 patients and Wailoo et al. [59] with data from the National Database of Rheumatic Diseases (NDB) for 10,000 US-patients. The latter model has been modified by Finckh et al. [60] to compare three different treatment strategies including DMARDs (conventional and biologic) and other pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions. In the individual sampling-model by Kielhorn et al. [61] patients start after inadequate response to two biological DMARDs and begin with states related to a certain treatment sequence. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease with severe effects on the functional ability of patients. Due to the prevalence of 0.5 to 1.0 percent in western countries, new treatment options are a major concern for decision makers with regard to their budget impact. In this context, cost-effectiveness analyses are a helpful tool to evaluate new treatment options for reimbursement schemes. To analyze and compare decision analytic modeling techniques and to explore their use in RA with regard to their advantages and shortcomings. A systematic literature review was conducted in PubMED and 58 studies reporting health economics decision models were analyzed with regard to the modeling technique used. From the 58 reviewed publications, we found 13 reporting decision tree-analysis, 25 (cohort) Markov models, 13 publications on individual sampling methods (ISM) and seven discrete event simulations (DES). Thereby 26 studies were identified as presenting independently developed models and 32 models as adoptions. The modeling techniques used were found to differ in their complexity and in the number of treatment options compared. Methodological features are presented in the article and a comprehensive overview of the cost-effectiveness estimates is given in Additional files 1 and 2. When compared to the other modeling techniques, ISM and DES have advantages in the coverage of patient heterogeneity and, additionally, DES is capable to model more complex treatment sequences and competing risks in RA-patients. Nevertheless, the availability of sufficient data is necessary to avoid assumptions in ISM and DES exercises, thereby enabling biased results. Due to the different settings, time frames and interventions in the reviewed publications, no direct comparison of modeling techniques was applicable. The results from other indications suggest that incremental cost-effective ratios (ICERs) do not differ significantly between Markov and DES models, but DES is able to report more outcome parameters. Given a sufficient data supply, DES is the modeling technique of choice when modeling cost-effectiveness in RA. Otherwise transparency on the data inputs is crucial for valid results and to inform decision makers about possible biases. With regard to ICERs, Markov models might provide similar estimates as more advanced modeling techniques.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
    • ", and Kobelt et al. (2011) [25], with an ICER of €13 k per QALY for etanercept plus methotrexate versus methotrexate, are potentially within the UK threshold for being cost-effective [36]. Both analyses are for countries (US and Sweden, respectively) where cost-effectiveness thresholds are not included in health resource allocation decision-making. Finckh et al. (2009) estimated that bDMARDs would be outperformed by cDMARDs for recent-onset RA [23]. Of the 14 studies, six (43 %) reported that the results were robust when sensitivity analysis was conducted [27, 29–31, 33, 35]. It was not possible to clearly identify the criteria used to suggest the results were robust. It was also not possible to check"
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the work reported in this paper was to critically assess how sequential disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been modelled in the context of economic evaluation of the use of DMARDs for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A secondary purpose was to identify the methodological challenges of modelling sequential therapies. Systematic searches of 10 databases were undertaken in February 2013. Studies were included if they were in the English language and a full comparative economic evaluation was reported. They were appraised by use of the Drummond checklist (Appendix to this paper). Data extracted included economic evaluation data, data relating to sequential treatment, and data on the modelling methods used. Fifty-seven studies were identified, with 25 (44 %) modelling a sequence of treatments. Forty-three (75 %) were cost-utility analyses. Eleven (19 %) were UK studies and 11 (19 %) were US. The remainder were mainly European (26 (46 %)). A distinction was made between studies of recent-onset RA (14 (25 %)) and those of established RA (42 (74 %)). One study (1 %) was unclear. Individual-level models were more likely to meet the Drummond criteria and evaluate sequences. No study identified an optimum sequence of multiple treatments given a set of treatment options. The level of reporting of the methods and evidence used to assess the effect of downstream treatments in the sequence was generally poor. When lifelong models and downstream treatment sequences were considered, evidence gaps were identified. The review discovered that methods have not been consistently applied, leading to varied estimates of cost-effectiveness. Treatment sequences have not been fully considered and modelled, potentially resulting in inaccurate estimates of cost-effectiveness.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014
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