Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by acute symptomatic episodes with variable severity and duration. Pharmacological asthma management aims to achieve and maintain control without side effects, thus improving quality of life and reducing the economic impact. Recently, a clinical trial showed the non-inferiority of beclomethasone/formoterol (BDP/F) versus fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) in adults with moderate to severe persistent asthma. However, this study did not provide evidence on costs and did not quantify quality-of-life parameters. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study was to assess the cost effectiveness and cost utility of BDP/F versus FP/S in patients with moderate to severe asthma from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service (NHS). METHODS: A Markov model (MM) was used, with five health states for the different levels of asthma control: successful control, sub-optimal control, outpatient-managed exacerbation, inpatient-managed exacerbation, and death. Model data were derived from the ICAT SE study and from expert panels. Three outcomes were considered: time spent in successful control state, costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). RESULTS: The model shows that BDP/F treatment led to a slight increase of weeks in successful control compared with FP/S, with a lower cost. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis highlights that in 64% and 68% of the Monte Carlo simulations, BDP/F outperformed FP/S in terms of weeks in successful control and QALYs. Considering the expected cost of the two strategies, in 90% of simulations BDP/F was the least expensive choice. In particular, BDP/F was cost saving as compared with FP/S in about 63% and 59% of simulations as shown by the cost-utility and cost-effectiveness analysis, respectively. CONCLUSION: Overall, from the Italian NHS perspective, BDP/F treatment is associated with a reduction in cost and offers a slight increase of effectiveness in terms of weeks spent in successful control and QALYs
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