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1.  Cost-effectiveness of available treatment options for patients suffering from severe COPD in the UK: a fully incremental analysis 
Purpose
Frequent exacerbations which are both costly and potentially life-threatening are a major concern to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), despite the availability of several treatment options. This study aimed to assess the lifetime costs and outcomes associated with alternative treatment regimens for patients with severe COPD in the UK setting.
Patients and methods
A Markov cohort model was developed to predict lifetime costs, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of various combinations of a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), a long-acting beta agonist (LABA), an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and roflumilast in a fully incremental analysis. Patients willing and able to take ICS, and those refusing or intolerant to ICS were analyzed separately. Efficacy was expressed as relative rate ratios of COPD exacerbation associated with alternative treatment regimens, taken from a mixed treatment comparison. The analysis was conducted from the UK National Health Service (NHS) perspective. Parameter uncertainty was explored using one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Results
Based on the results of the fully incremental analysis a cost-effectiveness frontier was determined, indicating those treatment regimens which represent the most cost-effective use of NHS resources. For ICS-tolerant patients the cost-effectiveness frontier suggested LAMA as initial treatment. Where patients continue to exacerbate and additional therapy is required, LAMA + LABA/ICS can be a cost-effective option, followed by LAMA + LABA/ICS + roflumilast (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER] versus LAMA + LABA/ICS: £16,566 per quality-adjusted life-year [QALY] gained). The ICER in ICS-intolerant patients, comparing LAMA + LABA + roflumilast versus LAMA + LABA, was £13,764/QALY gained. The relative rate ratio of exacerbations was identified as the primary driver of cost-effectiveness.
Conclusion
The treatment algorithm recommended in UK clinical practice represents a costeffective approach for the management of COPD. The addition of roflumilast to the standard of care regimens is a clinical and cost-effective treatment option for patients with severe COPD, who continue to exacerbate despite existing bronchodilator therapy.
doi:10.2147/COPD.S29820
PMCID: PMC3325000  PMID: 22500119
COPD; treatment; exacerbations; economic; cost-effectiveness; modeling
2.  Reasons given by general practitioners for non-treatment decisions in younger and older patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus in the United Kingdom: a survey study 
Background
Older patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus are less likely to receive antihyperglycaemic therapy compared to their younger counterparts. The purpose of this study was to assess the reasons of general practitioners (GPs) for not treating younger and older patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus with antihyperglycaemic agents.
Methods
In a survey conducted between November 2009 and January 2010, 358 GPs from the United Kingdom selected reasons for not initiating antihyperglycaemic therapy in younger (< 65 years) and older (≥65 years) patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus and untreated with any antihyperglycaemic agent for at least six months following diagnosis. Thirty-six potential reasons were classified into four major categories: Mild hyperglycaemia, Factors related to antihyperglycaemic agents, Comorbidities and polypharmacy, and Patient-related reasons. Reasons for non-treatment were compared between younger (n = 1, 023) and older (n = 1, 005) patients.
Results
Non-treatment reasons related to Mild hyperglycaemia were selected more often by GPs for both younger (88%) and older (86%) patients than those in other categories. For older patients, Factors related to antihyperglycaemic agents (46% vs. 38%) and Comorbidities and polypharmacy (33% vs. 19%), both including safety-related issues, were selected significantly (p < 0.001) more often by GPs. No between-group difference was observed for the Patient-related reasons category. The GP-reported HbA1c threshold for initiating antihyperglycaemic therapy was significantly (p < 0.001) lower for younger patients (mean ± standard deviation: 7.3% ± 0.7) compared to older patients (7.5% ± 0.9).
Conclusions
GPs selected reasons related to Mild hyperglycaemia for non-treatment of their untreated patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus, despite nearly one-third of these patients having their most recent HbA1c value ≥7%. The findings further suggest that safety-related issues may influence the non-treatment of older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-11-17
PMCID: PMC3219572  PMID: 22035104

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