A pharmacoeconomic evaluation of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
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INTRODUCTION: Alzheimer's disease (AD) results in progressively worsening cognitive decline, leading to loss of functional ability, behavior/mood disturbances, institutionalization, and death. Current pharmaceutical therapies only treat the symptoms of cognitive decline yet can be expensive for payers. Areas covered: The authors undertook a systematic review of economic evaluations of pharmaceutical therapies for AD. The literature search encompassed English-language studies indexed in PubMed (Medline), Cochrane Library Current, and Web of Science. The search included articles published between 1 January 1995 and 10 February 2018. The literature suggested AD medications generally dominated comparator treatments (e.g. placebo). Expert opinion: The authors noted several limitations of the included economic evaluations. These limitations suggest the results of the economic evaluations should be interpreted with caution. Many economic models were not transparent with respect to sources of probabilities and cost data, and data collected in certain jurisdictions were applied to other jurisdictions without considering the validity of such applications. Measuring health utilities in cognitively impaired populations raises questions about the validity of quality-adjusted life years, but this issue was unaddressed in the included studies. Most included studies were sponsored by industry and the results tended to overwhelmingly support the manufacturer's product.
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