Cost-Effectiveness of Peginterferon Beta-1a and Alemtuzumab in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Ankur A Dashputre, Khalid M Kamal, Gauri Pawar
Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy 2017, 23 (6): 666-676

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, affecting 2.5 million people globally and 400,000 people in the United States. While no cure exists for MS, the goal is to manage the disease using disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), which have been shown to slow disease progression and prevent relapses. Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common form of MS at the time of diagnosis. Peginterferon beta-1a (PEG) and alemtuzumab (ALT) were recently approved and have demonstrated good clinical outcomes, including reduced relapse rates in clinical trials. High costs associated with these DMTs necessitates cost-effectiveness analyses to understand their overall value in RRMS management.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the cost-effectiveness of (a) Model 1: PEG relative to intramuscular interferon beta-1a (IM IFN), subcutaneous interferon beta-1b (SC IFN), glatiramer acetate 20 mg per mL (GA), fingolimod (FIN), natalizumab (NAT), and dimethyl fumarate (DMF), and (b) Model 2: ALT relative to subcutaneous interferon beta-1a 44 μg (IFN beta-1a 44 μg). Both analyses were conducted from a U.S. third-party payer perspective.

METHODS: Two static decision models were used to compare the cost-effectiveness of PEG and ALT over a 1-year and a 2-year time horizon, respectively. Model inputs were drug acquisition costs (wholesale acquisition cost from RED BOOK); drug administration and monitoring costs (package inserts and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2015 Physician Fee Schedule); relapse rates and relapse rate reduction (clinical trials); and cost of managing relapses (published literature). All costs were adjusted to 2015 U.S. dollars using the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index. Outcomes measured were total cost of therapy per patient, cost per relapse avoided, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) calculated as cost per relapse avoided. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to test model robustness given the uncertainty of model inputs and study assumptions.

RESULTS: Model 1 results showed that PEG dominated IM IFN and GA, compared with SC IFN; PEG had an ICER of $1,978,000 per relapse avoided. Compared with FIN, NAT, and DMF, PEG was less expensive and less effective. Model 2 showed that ALT had an ICER of $25,276 per relapse avoided relative to IFN beta-1a 44 μg.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with RRMS, PEG is a viable alternative when compared with the DMTs in our model. Deciding whether to choose PEG over other DMTs would depend on multiple factors. On the other hand, ALT had an ICER of $25,276 cost per relapse avoided relative to IFN beta-1a 44 μg. The study results will assist payers in evaluating different medication choices for effective therapy.

DISCLOSURES: No outside funding supported this study. Kamal has received research funding from Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists and also serves as a consultant for the Lynx Group. Dashputre and Pawar report no conflicts of interest. Study concept and design were primarily contributed by Dashputre, along with Kamal and Pawar. Dashputre took the lead in data collection, along with Kamal, and data analysis was performed by Dashputre, Kamal, and Pawar. The manuscript was written and revised primarily by Dashputre, along with Kamal and Pawar.

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