JOURNAL ARTICLE

Quality of life benefits and cost impact of prolonged release oxycodone/naloxone versus prolonged release oxycodone in patients with moderate-to-severe non-malignant pain and opioid-induced constipation: a UK cost-utility analysis

William Dunlop, Reiner Uhl, Iftekhar Khan, Anna Taylor, Garry Barton
Journal of Medical Economics 2012, 15 (3): 564-75
22313329

OBJECTIVE: To compare the cost effectiveness of prolonged release oxycodone/naloxone (OXN) tablets (Targinact) and prolonged release oxycodone (OXY) tablets (OxyContin) in patients with moderate-to-severe non-malignant pain and opioid-induced constipation (OIC) from the perspective of the UK healthcare system.

METHODS: A cohort model used data from a phase III randomised, controlled trial (RCT). It calculated the cost difference between treatments by combining the cost of pain therapy with costs of laxatives and other resources used to manage constipated patients. SF-36 scores were converted into EQ-5D utility values to calculate the quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gains. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

RESULTS: The incremental cost of OXN versus OXY was £159.68 for the average treatment duration of 301 days. OXN gave an incremental QALY gain of 0.0273. The estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was £5841.56 per QALY. Sensitivity analyses gave a maximum ICER of £10,347.03. In some scenarios, OXN dominated with a cost saving of up to £4254.70. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that OXN had approximately 96.6% probability of cost effectiveness at the £20,000 threshold.

LIMITATIONS: The model was conservative in predicting the probability of constipation beyond the 12-week RCT period. UK cost of constipation data were limited and based on primary care physician opinion.

CONCLUSIONS: In the base case, direct treatment costs were slightly higher for patients treated with OXN than for those treated with OXY. However, patients treated with OXN experienced a quality of life gain, and had an ICER considerably below thresholds commonly applied in the UK. The model was most sensitive to the estimated cost of constipation with a number of realistic scenarios in the sensitivity analysis demonstrating a cost saving with OXN (OXN dominant). OXN is therefore estimated to be a cost-effective option for treating patients with severe non-malignant pain and OIC.

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