Cost-utility analysis of infliximab and adalimumab for refractory ulcerative colitis
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate cost-utility of infliximab and adalimumab for the treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC) refractory to conventional therapies in Canada. METHODS: A Markov model was constructed to evaluate incremental cost-utility ratios (ICUR) of 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg infliximab and adalimumab therapies compared to 'usual care' in treating a hypothetical cohort of patients (aged 40 years and weighing 80 kg) over a five-year time horizon from the perspective of a publicly-funded health care system. Clinical parameters were derived from the Active Ulcerative Colitis Trials 1 and 2. Costs were obtained through provincial drug benefit plans. ICUR was the main outcome measure and both deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. RESULTS: Compared to the strategy A ('usual care') in the base case analysis, the ICURs were CA$358,088/QALY for the strategy B ('5 mg/kg infliximab + adalimumab') and CA$575,540/QALY for the strategy C ('5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg infliximab + adalimumab'). The results were sensitive to: the remission rates maintained in responders to 'usual care' and to 5 mg/kg infliximab, the rate of remission induced by adalimumab in non-responders to 5 mg/kg infliximab, early surgery rate, and utility values. When the willingness to pay (WTP) was less than CA$150,000/QALY, the probability of 'usual care' being the optimal strategy was 1.0. The probability of strategy B being optimal was 0.5 when the WTP approximated CA$400,000/QALY. CONCLUSIONS: The ICURs of anti-TNF-alpha drugs were not satisfactory in treating patients with moderate-to-severe refractory UC. Future research could be aimed at the long-term clinical benefits of these drugs, especially adalimumab for patients intolerant or unresponsive to infliximab treatment.
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