During the years following menopause, estrogen levels decline leading to accelerated bone loss and an increased risk of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures.
Using a Markov model and decision analytic techniques, the long-term costs and outcomes of five treatment and secondary prevention strategies for osteoporosis were compared: 'no intervention', alendronate, etidronate, risedronate, and raloxifene. The base case analysis examined postmenopausal (65 year old) osteoporotic women without prior fracture. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was used to incorporate the impact of parameter uncertainty, and deterministic sensitivity analysis (DSA) was used to compare alternative patient populations and modeling assumptions. Life years and Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) were used as measures of effectiveness.
In the base case analysis, risedronate was dominated by etidronate and alendronate. Alendronate and etidronate were projected to have similar costs and QALYs, and the efficiency frontier was represented by 'no intervention', etidronate, alendronate, and raloxifene (Can$32 571, Can$38 623 and Can$114 070 per QALY respectively). Alternative assumptions of raloxifene's impact on CHD and breast cancer, alternative discount rates and alternative patient risk factors (e.g., starting age of therapy, CHD risk, and prior fracture risk) had significant impacts on the overall cost-effectiveness results for both the bisphosphonates and raloxifene.
Using conventionally quoted benchmarks and compared to no therapy, alendronate, etidronate, and raloxifene would all be considered cost-effective alternatives for treating women with osteoporosis. Potential limitations of this study include the usual caveats and cautions associated with long-term projection models and the fact that not all inputs into the model are Canadian data sources.
The RisedronatE and ALendronate (REAL) study provided a unique opportunity to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses based on effectiveness data from real-world clinical practice. Using a published osteoporosis model, the researchers found risedronate to be cost-effective compared to generic or brand alendronate for the treatment of Canadian postmenopausal osteoporosis in patients aged 65 years or older.
The REAL study provides robust data on the real-world performance of risedronate and alendronate. The study used these data to assess the cost-effectiveness of brand risedronate versus generic or brand alendronate for treatment of Canadian postmenopausal osteoporosis patients aged 65 years or older.
A previously published osteoporosis model was populated with Canadian cost and epidemiological data, and the estimated fracture risk was validated. Effectiveness data were derived from REAL and utility data from published sources. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained was estimated from a Canadian public payer perspective, and comprehensive sensitivity analyses were conducted.
The base case analysis found fewer fractures and more QALYs in the risedronate cohort, providing an incremental cost per QALY gained of $3,877 for risedronate compared to generic alendronate. The results were most sensitive to treatment duration and effectiveness.
The REAL study provided a unique opportunity to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses based on effectiveness data taken from real-world clinical practice. The analysis supports the cost-effectiveness of risedronate compared to generic or brand alendronate and the use of risedronate for the treatment of osteoporotic Canadian women aged 65 years or older with a BMD T-score