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Cost–benefit comparison of liraglutide and sitagliptin in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Thailand

Authors Deerochanawong C, Kosachunhanun N, Gadekar AV, Chotikanokrat P, Permsuwan U

Received 17 January 2019

Accepted for publication 16 May 2019

Published 11 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 423—430


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Xing Lin Feng

Chaicharn Deerochanawong,1 Natapong Kosachunhanun,2 Arvind V Gadekar,3 Pitthaporn Chotikanokrat,3 Unchalee Permsuwan4

1Rajavithi Hospital, College of Medicine, Rangsit University, Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok 10400, Thailand; 2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; 3Novo Nordisk Pharma (Thailand) Ltd., Bangkok 10500, Thailand; 4Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Aim: Liraglutide, a once-daily subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, is approved for treatment of hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). For patients with established cardiovascular diseases, liraglutide has also been shown to reduce major cardiovascular events. However, its cost is relatively higher than other oral antidiabetic drugs. This study aims to compare the costs and benefits of liraglutide vs sitagliptin, in treating T2DM in Thailand.
Methods: This study consists of two parts. In part 1, the cost of keeping T2DM under control per patient (HbA1c<7.0% with no reported hypoglycemia and no body weight gain) with liraglutide (1.2 and 1.8 mg daily) was compared with using sitagliptin (100 mg daily). Costs were based on Thai local data. Clinical outcomes were based on head-to-head randomized controlled trials. Part 2 estimated the cost-per-controlled patient, based on major cardiovascular outcomes (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke). Economic benefit was calculated as the reduction in cardiovascular outcomes.
Results: In Thailand, liraglutide (1.8 mg daily) costs 7.37-times more than sitagliptin 100 mg. The cost per patient achieving a composite clinical endpoint (HbA1c<7.0%, with no weight gain and no hypoglycemic events) in patients with T2DM receiving liraglutide 1.8 mg is 2.80-times higher than patients receiving sitagliptin 100 mg. When cardiovascular benefits (reduced composite endpoint of major cardiovascular events, ie, cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and nonfatal stroke) were taken into account, it was found that liraglutide had lower cost than sitagliptin, resulting in estimated savings of 20,085 THB (620 USD) per patient per year.
Conclusion: The clinical benefits of liraglutide (HbA1c<7.0%, no hypoglycemia, no weight gain, reduced cardiovascular outcomes) partly offset its high price. Therefore, liraglutide should be considered as an appropriate treatment alternative to sitagliptin, particularly for T2DM patients with high cardiovascular risks.

Keywords: liraglutide, sitagliptin, diabetes, cardiovascular, Thailand

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