Cost-effectiveness of formoterol and salbutamol as asthma reliever medication in Sweden and in Spain
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This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of formoterol (Oxis) Turbuhaler 4.5 microg and salbutamol 200 microg as reliever medications in Sweden and Spain. The study used data on effectiveness (exacerbations and symptom-free days) and resource utilisation from an open, 6-month, parallel-group, multicentre randomised trial with 18,124 asthma patients in 24 countries. Country-specific unit costs for Sweden and for Spain were used to transform resource utilisation data into costs. Total healthcare costs were not significantly different between formoterol and salbutamol dry powder inhalers in Sweden, whereas in Spain, the healthcare costs were 20% higher for formoterol vs. salbutamol pressurised metered dose inhalers. Total healthcare costs increased with disease severity, defined according to the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines. Compared with salbutamol, formoterol produced statistically significant improvements in effectiveness, less reliever and maintenance medication usage, reduced healthcare resource utilisation, with no increase or a limited increase in healthcare cost.