Monthly dosing with ranibizumab (RBZ) is needed to achieve maximal visual gains in patients with neovascular ('wet') age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). In Sweden, dosing is performed as needed (RBZ PRN), resulting in suboptimal efficacy. Intravitreal aflibercept (IVT-AFL) every 2 months after three initial monthly doses was clinically equivalent to RBZ monthly dosing (RBZ q4) in wAMD clinical trials. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of IVT-AFL versus RBZ q4 and RBZ PRN in Sweden.
A Markov model compared IVT-AFL to RBZ q4 or RBZ PRN over 2 years. Health states were based on visual acuity in better-seeing eye; a proportion discontinued treatment monthly or upon visual acuity
Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, which can be treated with regular intraocular anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections. In this study, we wanted to evaluate whether less frequent injections of aflibercept would make it more cost-effective when compared with ranibizumab and low priced bevacizumab.
We used a two-eye model to simulate the progression and the treatment of the disease. We selected an 8-year period, 3-month cycles and five health states based on the visual acuity of the better-seeing eye. The transition probabilities and utilities attached to the health states were gathered from previous studies. We conducted the analysis from the hospital perspective and we used the health care costs obtained from Kuopio University Hospital. The costs of intraocular adverse events were taken into account.
The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with 3% discount rate (€/QALY) for aflibercept compared with monthly bevacizumab was 1 801 228 and when compared with ranibizumab given as needed, the ICER was minus 3 716 943. The sensitivity analysis showed that a change of 20% of the estimated model parameters or a longer follow-up period did not influence these conclusions.
A two-eye Markov transition model was developed to analyse the cost-effectiveness of wet AMD treatment, as quality of life years (QALYs) are largely based on the visual acuity of the better-seeing eye. Monthly injected bevacizumab was the most cost-effective treatment and monthly ranibizumab the least effective.