Real-world cost-effectiveness of insulin degludec in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus from a Swedish 1-year and long-term perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and aims: The ReFLeCT study demonstrated that switching to insulin degludec from other basal insulins was associated with reductions in glycated hemoglobin and hypoglycemic events in type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and reductions in insulin doses in T1D. The aim of the present analysis was to assess the short- and long-term cost-effectiveness of switching to insulin degludec in Sweden. Methods: Short-term outcomes were evaluated over 1 year in a Microsoft Excel model, while long-term outcomes were projected over patient lifetimes using the IQVIA CORE Diabetes Model. Cohort characteristics and treatment effects were sourced from the ReFLeCT study. Costs (in 2018 Swedish krona [SEK]) encompassed direct medical expenditure and indirect costs from loss of workplace productivity. In the long-term analyses, patients were assumed to receive insulin degludec or continue prior insulin therapy (primarily insulin glargine U100) for 5 years, before all patients intensified to once-daily degludec and mealtime aspart. Results: Switching to insulin degludec was associated with improved quality-adjusted life expectancy of 0.04 and 0.02 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) over 1 year, and 0.16 and 0.08 QALYs over patient lifetimes, in T1D and T2D. Combined costs in T1D and T2D were estimated to be SEK 1,249 lower and SEK 1,181 higher over the short-term, and SEK 157,258 and SEK 2,114 lower over the long-term. Benefits were due to lower insulin doses in T1D, reduced rates of hypoglycemia, and lower incidences of diabetes-related complications. Insulin degludec was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of SEK 64,298 per QALY gained for T2D over 1 year and considered dominant for T1D and T2D in all other comparisons. Conclusions: Insulin degludec was projected to be cost-effective or dominant versus other basal insulins for the treatment of T1D and T2D in Sweden.


  • Johan Jendle
  • Åsa Ericsson
  • Bertil Ekman
  • Stefan Sjöberg
  • Jens Gundgaard
  • João da Rocha Fernandes
  • Ann Charlotte Mårdby
  • Barnaby Hunt
  • Samuel J.P. Malkin
  • Maria Thunander
External organisations
  • Örebro University
  • Linköping University
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Novo Nordisk A/S
  • Ossian Health Economics and Communications
  • Novo Nordisk Scandinavia AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Cost, cost-effectiveness, insulin degludec, Sweden, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number11
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch