To compare disease-related medical care and productivity costs, and utilities, in 482 patients with rheumatoid arthritis randomised to receive leflunomide, methotrexate or placebo during a 12-month period.
Prospective pharmacoeconomic analysis of a 1-year randomised double-blind trial set in North America.
Societal and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Information on healthcare resources, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of working time and time spent on chores, related to the disease or the medication, were collected at 4-week intervals and at study discontinuation. Rating scale and standard gamble (SG) utilities (0 = worse; 100 = best) were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months or study exit. Medical care costs in Canadian dollars (Can dollars) were calculated using Ontario reimbursement schedules. US patients' expenses were converted to Can dollars using 1995 purchasing power parity. Lost wages were calculated by age and gender according to 1995 Canadian wage data. All costs were adjusted to 1999 Can dollars and arithmetic mean costs were compared using the nonparametric bootstrap. Analysis of covariance was performed to compare utilities between groups.
Mean (standard deviation) rating scale values and SG utilities, respectively, for leflunomide, methotrexate and placebo were 67.7 (18.0), 64.8 (18.1) and 57.5 (9.2), and 80.2 (22.1), 83.2 (18.0) and 77.0 (20.5). Both leflunomide and methotrexate had higher rating scale values (p