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Mean cost per number needed to treat with tocilizumab plus methotrexate versus abatacept plus methotrexate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in patients previously treated with methotrexate

Authors Benucci M, Ravasio R, Damiani A

Received 11 May 2017

Accepted for publication 14 June 2017

Published 14 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 403—410


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Maurizio Benucci,1 Roberto Ravasio,2 Arianna Damiani1

1Rheumatology Unit, S. Giovanni di Dio Hospital, Florence, 2Health Publishing & Services Srl, Milan, Italy

Introduction: Biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are particularly recommended for use in patients who are poor responders, are intolerant to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (cDMARDs), or in whom continued treatment with cDMARDs is deemed inappropriate. We estimated the efficacy and treatment costs associated with the use of tocilizumab (TCZ) plus methotrexate (Mtx) versus abatacept (ABT) plus Mtx in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients previously treated with Mtx.
Methods: Clinical data from a Technology Appraisal Guidance published in January 2016 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence were used. Pharmacoeconomic comparison between biological agents was carried out to estimate the respective cost for the number needed to treat (NNT) compared to cDMARDs using both American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria. A 6-month period was considered. Direct medical costs including pharmacological therapy, administration, and monitoring were considered.
Results: Using both ACR and EULAR criteria, TCZ subcutaneously (sc) or intravenously (iv) had a lower NNT (higher efficacy) compared to ABT (iv/sc). The most significant differences in favor of TCZ were observed using EULAR criteria. Related to the level of efficacy observed, TCZ (iv/sc) had a lower cost for NNT with both ACR and EULAR criteria compared to ABT (iv/sc). Sensitivity analysis confirmed these results.
Conclusion: TCZ (iv/sc) represents a more cost-effective option than ABT (iv/sc) in the treatment of RA in patients previously treated with Mtx.

Keywords: ACR, EULAR, pharmacoeconomics, rheumatology, economic, bDMARDs

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