Cost effectiveness of adding budesonide/formoterol to tiotropium in COPD in four Nordic countries
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Objective: Assess the cost effectiveness of budesonide/formoterol (BUD/FORM) Turbuhaler®+tiotropium (TIO) HandiHaler® vs. placebo (PBO)+TIO in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) eligible for inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-agonists (ICS/LABA).
Methods: The cost-effectiveness analysis was based on the 12-week, randomised, double-blind CLIMB trial. The study included 659 patients with pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s ≤ 50% and ≥1 exacerbation requiring systemic glucocorticosteroids or antibiotics the preceding year. Patients received BUD/FORM 320/9 μg bid + TIO 18 μg qd or PBO bid + TIO 18 μg qd. Effectiveness was defined as the number of severe exacerbations (hospitalisation/emergency room visit/systemic glucocorticosteroids) avoided. A sub-analysis included antibiotics in the definition of an exacerbation. Resource use from CLIMB was combined with Danish (DKK), Finnish (€), Norwegian (NOK) and Swedish (SEK) unit costs (2010). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for BUD/FORM + TIO vs. PBO + TIO were estimated using descriptive statistics and uncertainty around estimates using bootstrapping. Analyses were conducted from the societal and healthcare perspectives in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Results: From a societal perspective, the ICER was estimated at €174/severe exacerbation avoided in Finland while BUD/FORM + TIO was dominant in the other countries. From the healthcare perspective, ICERs were DKK 1580 (€212), €307 and SEK 1573 (€165) per severe exacerbation avoided for Denmark, Finland and Sweden, respectively, while BUD/FORM + TIO was dominant in Norway. Including antibiotics decreased ICERs by 8–15%. Sensitivity analyses showed that results were overall robust.
Conclusion: BUD/FORM + TIO represents a clinical and economic benefit to health systems and society for the treatment of COPD in the Nordic countries.