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A cost-effectiveness evaluation comparing originator follitropin alfa to the biosimilar for the treatment of infertility

Authors Gizzo S, Garcia-Velasco JA, Heiman F, Ripellino C, Bühler K

Received 2 August 2016

Accepted for publication 18 October 2016

Published 7 December 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 683—689


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Salvatore Gizzo,1 Juan A Garcia-Velasco,2 Franca Heiman,3 Claudio Ripellino,3 Klaus Bühler4

1Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rey Juan Carlos University Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 3IMS Health Information Solutions Italy Srl, Milan, Italy; 4Centre for Gynaecology, Endocrinology, and Reproductive Medicine, Ulm and Stuttgart, Germany

Objectives: To perform a cost-effectiveness evaluation comparing the originator follitropin alfa (Gonal-f®) to the biosimilar (Bemfola®) in the Italian and Spanish contexts, with an assessment of the German and UK backgrounds.
Methods: Starting from the study by Rettenbacher et al, a cost-effectiveness model was developed in the Italian and Spanish contexts. Clinical data on subjects, doses of gonadotropin, pregnancies, live-born children, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome were used to feed the model. Costs related to drugs, hospitalizations, specialist visits, and examinations were retrieved from Italian and Spanish tariffs. Gonadotropin acquisition costs for Germany and the UK were also taken into account to expand the economical assessment to the other countries. The evaluation was done based on the National Health Service perspective. Sensitivity analyses, both univariate and probabilistic, as long as scenario analyses, tested the robustness of the model.
Originator follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) costs were €3,663 and €6,387 in Italy and Spain, respectively, whereas biosimilar FSH costs were €3,483 and €6,342. The efficacy was found to be 0.52 for the originator and 0.47 for the biosimilar. The average cost per live birth was estimated to be €7,044 and €12,283 for the originator FSH and €7,411 and €13,494 for the biosimilar for Italy and Spain, respectively. Furthermore, the originator FSH generated an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €3,600 for Italy and €900 for Spain compared to the biosimilar. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the results of the base case model.
Conclusion: This analysis indicated that the originator FSH is a cost-efficient treatment strategy for Italian and Spanish health services compared to the biosimilar and it would be worthwhile extending this evaluation to other countries.

Keywords: FSH, follitropin alfa, biosimilar, infertility

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