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A review of the pharmacoeconomics of eletriptan for the acute treatment of migraine

Authors Bhambri R, Mardekian J, Liu L, Schweizer E, Ramos E

Received 3 September 2014

Accepted for publication 16 October 2014

Published 12 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 27—36


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Rahul Bhambri,1 Jack Mardekian,1 Larry Z Liu,1,2 Edward Schweizer,3 Elodie Ramos1

1Pfizer, Inc., 2Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA; 3Paladin Consulting Group, Princeton, NJ, USA

Abstract: Migraine is a commonly occurring, chronic disorder that can cause significant disability. Eletriptan, a selective serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 1 receptor subtype B/D (5-HT1B/1D) agonist, is a clinically effective treatment for moderate to severe migraine. The objective of this literature review was to summarize the available data on the pharmacoeconomics of eletriptan relative to other triptans. Articles meeting the following three criteria were included in the review: 1) contained pharmacoeconomic data on a marketed dose of eletriptan; 2) included data on at least one other comparator triptan; and 3) was in English. A MEDLINE® search yielded a total of eight studies (from the European Union [n=5] and from the USA [n=3]) across multiple regions. Seven of the studies examined the pharmacoeconomics of eletriptan relative to other triptans, and a further study examined the health care costs of eletriptan 40 mg versus sumatriptan 100 mg. Eletriptan 40 mg was among a group of triptans, including rizatriptan 10 mg and almotriptan 12.5 mg, demonstrating the greatest cost-effectiveness. This result held across different definitions of efficacy (2 hours pain-free, sustained pain-free, and sustained pain-free with no adverse events) and also held when cost-effectiveness models accounted for second doses and use of rescue medication, management of adverse events, and productivity loss, in addition to drug acquisition costs. Only limited head-to-head comparator data were available. The majority of pharmacoeconomic studies utilized the same set of efficacy and/or tolerability data, and indirect costs were rarely included despite the fact that the majority of per capita migraine costs are attributable to indirect costs. In summary, although the market is now dominated by generics, eletriptan 40 mg is among the most clinically and cost-effective oral triptans available for the management of acute migraine. Increased effectiveness/efficacy of eletriptan may necessitate a lesser need for other migraine treatments and/or switching to other triptans.

Keywords: oral triptans, cost-effectiveness, literature search

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