Cost-effectiveness of infliximab versus conventional combination treatment in methotrexate-refractory early rheumatoid arthritis: 2-year results of the register-enriched randomised controlled SWEFOT trial.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of infliximab versus conventional combination treatment over 21 months in patients with methotrexate-refractory early rheumatoid arthritis.

METHODS:
In this multicentre, two-arm, parallel, randomised, active-controlled, open-label trial, rheumatoid arthritis patients with <1 year symptom duration were recruited from 15 rheumatology clinics in Sweden between October 2002 and December 2005. After 3-4 months of methotrexate monotherapy, patients not achieving low disease activity were randomised to addition of infliximab or sulfasalazine+hydroxychloroquine (conventional treatment group). Costs of drugs, healthcare use, and productivity losses were retrieved from nationwide registers, while EuroQol 5-Dimensions utility was collected quarterly.

RESULTS:
Of 487 patients initially enrolled, 128 and 130 were randomised to infliximab and conventional treatment, respectively. The infliximab group accumulated higher drug and healthcare costs (€27 487 vs €10 364; adjusted mean difference €16 956 (95% CI 14 647 to 19 162)), while productivity losses did not differ (€33 804 vs €29 220; €3961 (95% CI -3986 to 11 850)), resulting in higher societal cost compared to the conventional group (€61 291 vs €39 584; €20 916 (95% CI 12 800 to 28 660)). Mean accumulated quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) did not differ (1.10 vs 1.12; adjusted mean difference favouring infliximab treatment 0.01 (95% CI -0.07 to 0.08)). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for the infliximab versus conventional treatment strategy were €2 404 197/QALY from the societal perspective and €1 948 919/QALY from the healthcare perspective.

CONCLUSIONS:
In early, methotrexate-refractory rheumatoid arthritis, a treatment strategy commencing with addition of infliximab, as compared to sulfasalazine+hydroxychloroquine, was not cost-effective over 21 months at willingness to pay levels generally considered acceptable.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:
NCT00764725.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Keywords

  • Cost-effectiveness, QALY, randomised clinical trial, register, rheumatoid arthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1101
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Volume74
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes