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Monday 01 August 2005

Determining economic feasibility of fluticasone propionate-salmeterol vs montelukast in the treatment of persistent asthma using a net benefit approach and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.

By: Borker R, Emmett A, Jhingran P, Rickard K, Dorinsky P.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2005 Aug;95(2):181-9

BACKGROUND: The choice of treatment can have a major impact on the total costs associated with asthma care. OBJECTIVE: To determine the relative cost-effectiveness of twice-daily treatment with inhaled fluticasone propionate-salmeterol via Diskus, 100/50 microg, with that of once-daily treatment with oral montelukast as initial maintenance therapy in patients with persistent asthma uncontrolled with a short-acting beta2-agonist alone. METHODS: Data from a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, 12-week clinical trial were analyzed. Efficacy end points included (1) symptom-free days (SFDs) during the 12-week period and (2) a 12% or greater increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) from baseline. The economic analysis was performed from a payer's perspective, and hence only direct costs were included in the analysis. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which is the mean difference in average costs divided by the mean difference in average effectiveness, was calculated for both effectiveness outcomes (SFDs and FEV1). RESULTS: For the SFDs end point, the ICER for fluticasone propionate-salmeterol vs montelukast was $2.87 (95% confidence interval, -$1.08 to $6.65), indicating that it costs, on average, an extra $2.87 per day for an additional SFD with fluticasone propionate-salmeterol than with montelukast. With regard to FEV1, the ICER was $1.79 (95% confidence interval, -$0.72 to $3.86), indicating that it costs, on average, an extra $1.79 per day to achieve a lung function improvement of 12% or greater from baseline with fluticasone propionate-salmeterol than with montelukast. At a widely acceptable ceiling ratio of $9.95 per day, the probability of fluticasone propionate-salmeterol being more cost-effective than montelukast was 99.8% for SFDs and was almost 100% for an FEV1 improvement of 12% of greater. CONCLUSIONS: Treating 2 main components of asthma, inflammation and smooth muscle dysfunction, using fluticasone propionate-salmeterol is more cost-effective than using a single mediator antagonist alone, such as montelukast, as initial maintenance therapy for persistent asthma in patients treated with a short-acting beta2-agonist only.

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