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1.  Cost Effectiveness of Mirabegron Compared with Tolterodine Extended Release for the Treatment of Adults with Overactive Bladder in the United Kingdom 
Background
Overactive bladder (OAB) is highly prevalent and is associated with considerable morbidity and reduced health-related quality of life. β3-adrenergic receptor (β3-AR) stimulation is a novel alternative to antimuscarinic therapy for OAB.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to assess the cost effectiveness of the β3-AR agonist mirabegron relative to tolterodine extended release (ER) in patients with OAB from a UK National Health Service (NHS) perspective.
Methods
A Markov model was developed to simulate the management, course of disease, and effect of complications in OAB patients over a period of 5 years. Transition probabilities for symptom severity levels and probabilities of adverse events were estimated from the results of the randomised, double-blind SCORPIO trial in 1,987 patients with OAB. Other model inputs were derived from the literature and on assumptions based on clinical experience.
Results
Total 5-year costs per patient were £1,645.62 for mirabegron 50 mg/day and £1,607.75 for tolterodine ER 4 mg/day. Mirabegron was associated with a gain of 0.009 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) with an additional cost of £37.88. The resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was £4,386/QALY gained. In deterministic sensitivity analyses in the general OAB population and several subgroups, ICERs remained below the generally accepted willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of £20,000/QALY gained. The probability of mirabegron 50 mg being cost effective relative to tolterodine ER 4 mg was 89.4 % at the same WTP threshold.
Conclusions
Mirabegron 50 mg/day is likely to be cost effective compared with tolterodine ER 4 mg/day for adult patients with OAB from a UK NHS perspective.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40261-014-0240-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s40261-014-0240-z
PMCID: PMC4300413  PMID: 25491433
2.  Cost utility analysis of immunosuppressive regimens in adult renal transplant recipients in England and Wales 
Background
End-stage renal disease is the irreversible final stage of chronic kidney disease and is fatal when not managed by either transplantation or dialysis. Transplantation is generally preferred over dialysis. However, to prevent graft rejection or loss, lifelong immunosuppression is required. Tacrolimus is currently the cornerstone of post-transplantation immunosuppression. The study aim was to carry out an economic evaluation of immunosuppression, including more recent agents such as a once-daily prolonged-release formulation of tacrolimus (Advagraf™) and belatacept, relative to a twice-daily immediate-release formulation of tacrolimus (Prograf™).
Methods
A model was constructed comprising six states: onset of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection, functioning graft with or without a biopsy-confirmed acute rejection, non-functioning graft (dialysis), re-transplantation, and death. Data on clinical effectiveness were derived from a systematic literature review and the model captured the effects of patient adherence to immunosuppressant therapy on graft survival using relative risk of graft survival and published data on adherence in patients using Advagraf and Prograf. In the base case, the time horizon was 25 years and one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted.
Results
The analysis demonstrated that Prograf was cost-effective when compared with cyclosporin and belatacept and was more effective than sirolimus, but would not be considered cost-effective against sirolimus. The modeled improvement in the adherence profile of patients using Advagraf relative to Prograf resulted in both improved clinical outcomes and reduced costs.
Conclusion
Prograf was more clinically effective than cyclosporin, belatacept, and sirolimus, supporting its current positioning as the mainstay of immunosuppressive therapy in renal transplant recipients. Based on improved patient adherence with Advagraf, the model projected that Advagraf would be both more effective and less costly than Prograf. Replacing Prograf with Advagraf as the standard of care for post-transplant immunosuppression could likely result in both cost savings and improved clinical outcomes.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S69461
PMCID: PMC4226454  PMID: 25395839
tacrolimus; costs; cost-effectiveness; Great Britain
3.  Cost-effectiveness analysis of fidaxomicin versus vancomycin in Clostridium difficile infection 
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy  2014;69(11):2901-2912.
Objectives
Fidaxomicin was non-inferior to vancomycin with respect to clinical cure rates in the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) in two Phase III trials, but was associated with significantly fewer recurrences than vancomycin. This economic analysis investigated the cost-effectiveness of fidaxomicin compared with vancomycin in patients with severe CDI and in patients with their first CDI recurrence.
Methods
A 1 year time horizon Markov model with seven health states was developed from the perspective of Scottish public healthcare providers. Model inputs for effectiveness, resource use, direct costs and utilities were obtained from published sources and a Scottish expert panel. The main model outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), expressed as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), for fidaxomicin versus vancomycin; ICERs were interpreted using willingness-to-pay thresholds of £20 000/QALY and £30 000/QALY. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
Results
Total costs were similar with fidaxomicin and vancomycin in patients with severe CDI (£14 515 and £14 344, respectively) and in patients with a first recurrence (£16 535 and £16 926, respectively). Improvements in clinical outcomes with fidaxomicin resulted in small QALY gains versus vancomycin (severe CDI, +0.010; patients with first recurrence, +0.019). Fidaxomicin was cost-effective in severe CDI (ICER £16 529/QALY) and dominant (i.e. more effective and less costly) in patients with a first recurrence. The probability that fidaxomicin was cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30 000/QALY was 60% for severe CDI and 68% in a first recurrence.
Conclusions
Fidaxomicin is cost-effective in patients with severe CDI and in patients with a first CDI recurrence versus vancomycin.
doi:10.1093/jac/dku257
PMCID: PMC4195473  PMID: 25096079
economic; model; antibacterials
4.  Budget impact of switching from an immediate-release to a prolonged-release formulation of tacrolimus in renal transplant recipients in the UK based on differences in adherence 
Background and aims
Advagraf is a once-daily prolonged-release formulation of tacrolimus with proven noninferiority to Prograf, a twice-daily immediate-release formulation of tacroli-mus, in biopsy-proven acute rejection, graft survival and patient survival in renal transplant recipients. Advagraf is associated with improved adherence compared with Prograf, which may ultimately improve long-term outcomes. The present study assessed the budget impact of switching patients from Prograf to Advagraf in the UK.
Materials and methods
A budget-impact model was constructed based on published data on acute rejection, graft failure, and mortality in the UK setting. Patients were assumed to convert from Prograf to Advagraf on a 1:1 milligram:milligram basis. In a study comparing the adherence rates between once-daily versus twice-daily formulations of tacrolimus, the proportion of patients taking the prescribed number of daily doses was 88.2% in Advagraf patients and 78.8% in Prograf patients. The model applied a relative risk of graft failure of 3.47 to nonadherent patients based on data from a 2004 meta-analysis (based on graft-failure rates of 1.3%–40.0% in adherent patients, compared with 6.1%–100% in nonadherent patients). Cost data were taken from the March 2013 British National Formulary and 2012–2013 National Health Service tariff information. The analysis was performed over a 5-year time horizon and future costs were not discounted, in line with International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research guidelines.
Results
Over a 5-year time horizon, the mean cost per patient (including tacrolimus, concomitant immunosuppressive medications, dialysis after graft failure, and treatment for acute rejection) was £29,328 (standard deviation [SD] £2,844) for Advagraf versus £33,061 (SD £3,178) for Prograf. The total cost saving of £3,733 (SD £530) was driven primarily by reduced dialysis costs arising from the lower incidence of graft failure (21.6% with Prograf versus 18.3% with Advagraf) in the larger proportion of adherent patients in the Advagraf arm. In a hypothetical transplant centre of 100 kidney-transplant recipients, this would result in cost savings approaching £375,000 over 5 years.
Conclusion
Conversion of renal transplant recipients from Prograf to Advagraf was associated with lower pharmacy and dialysis costs, with the reduction in dialysis costs being driven by improved adherence to Advagraf regimen and the consequent improvement in graft survival.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S60213
PMCID: PMC3974691  PMID: 24729687
tacrolimus; patient adherence; costs and cost analysis; Great Britain
5.  Community-based health insurance programmes and the national health insurance scheme of Nigeria: challenges to uptake and integration 
Background
Nigeria has included a regulated community-based health insurance (CBHI) model within its National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Uptake to date has been disappointing, however. The aim of this study is to review the present status of CBHI in SSA in general to highlight the issues that affect its successful integration within the NHIS of Nigeria and more widely in developing countries.
Methods
A literature survey using PubMed and EconLit was carried out to identify and review studies that report factors affecting implementation of CBHI in SSA with a focus on Nigeria.
Results
CBHI schemes with a variety of designs have been introduced across SSA but with generally disappointing results so far. Two exceptions are Ghana and Rwanda, both of which have introduced schemes with effective government control and support coupled with intensive implementation programmes. Poor support for CBHI is repeatedly linked elsewhere with failure to engage and account for the ‘real world’ needs of beneficiaries, lack of clear legislative and regulatory frameworks, inadequate financial support, and unrealistic enrolment requirements. Nigeria’s CBHI-type schemes for the informal sectors of its NHIS have been set up under an appropriate legislative framework, but work is needed to eliminate regressive financing, to involve scheme members in the setting up and management of programmes, to inform and educate more effectively, to eliminate lack of confidence in the schemes, and to address inequity in provision. Targeted subsidies should also be considered.
Conclusions
Disappointing uptake of CBHI-type NHIS elements in Nigeria can be addressed through closer integration of informal and formal programmes under the NHIS umbrella, with increasing involvement of beneficiaries in scheme design and management, improved communication and education, and targeted financial assistance.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-13-20
PMCID: PMC3941795  PMID: 24559409
Community-Based Health Insurance; CBHI; Healthcare; National Health Insurance Scheme; NHIS; Sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria
6.  Estimating EQ-5D and OAB-5D health state utilities for patients with overactive bladder 
Background
Limited utility data on patients suffering from overactive bladder (OAB) are available in the literature. The objectives of this study were to estimate utility values in patients with OAB using the generic EQ-5D questionnaire and the OAB-5D disease specific questionnaire, to investigate the relationship between utilities and symptoms, and to evaluate the sensitivity of the two instruments to changes in symptom severity.
Methods
Analyses were based on pooled data from three large multicenter randomized 12-week placebo-controlled trials (SCORPIO, ARIES, CAPRICORN). Patients completed a micturition diary, EQ-5D and OAB-q (a quality of life questionnaire from which OAB-5D is derived) at baseline and at weeks 4, 8 and 12. Time trade-off tariffs elicited from UK population were applied to obtain utilities from both instruments. Repeated measures regressions were used to estimate EQ-5D and OAB-5D utilities by micturition frequency and incontinence severity level. As a test of sensitivity of the instruments, utility changes from baseline to week 12 were estimated by symptomatic response (improvement, stable or worsening).
Results
The sample included 4427 patients. Mean utilities (± standard deviation) across all visits were 0.82 (±0.21) for EQ-5D and 0.86 (±0.09) for OAB-5D. Correlation between EQ-5D and OAB-5D was 0.34 (p < 0.0001). Both OAB-5D and EQ-5D utilities increased as OAB symptoms improved. Utility values were similar for severe levels of symptoms, but higher with OAB-5D than with EQ-5D for mild cases. Micturitions and incontinence had similar impact on EQ-5D utilities, but micturitions had greater impact on OAB-5D utilities than incontinence. Changes from baseline in OAB-5D utilities differed significantly according to symptomatic response. Changes in EQ-5D utilities were not significantly associated with changes in micturition frequency and weakly associated with changes in incontinence severity among patients with mild symptoms at baseline.
Conclusions
This study showed that both EQ-5D and OAB-5D can detect changes in severity of OAB, especially in severe cases. However, OAB-5D is more sensitive than EQ-5D in measuring differences between treatments in milder cases. Both OAB-5D and EQ-5D–although leading to different results–may be useful to derive utilities from clinical trial data and perform cost-effectiveness analyses.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials NCT00689104, NCT00662909, NCT00912964.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-200
PMCID: PMC3842710  PMID: 24246044
Health-related quality of life; Overactive bladder; EQ-5D; OAB-5D; Quality-adjusted life-years; Utility assessment
7.  Leuprolide acetate 1-, 3- and 6-monthly depot formulations in androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer in nine European countries: evidence review and economic evaluation 
Objective
Leuprolide is an established luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist used as first-line treatment in advanced prostate cancer. As different formulations and dosing schedules are likely to have economic implications, we aimed to evaluate their efficacy, safety, and costs in nine European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.
Methods
Database searches identified 13 clinical trials of leuprolide 1- (1 M), 3- (3 M) and 6-monthly (6 M). Only data on leuprolide with Atrigel were compared for all three formulations, which had the same efficacy, safety, and adherence. Cost-minimization analysis accounting for cost of Eligard®, specialist consultations, and diagnostics during up to 12 months follow-up was conducted. The perspective was that of public payers.
Results
No significant differences were observed in the percentages of intention-to-treat patients achieving testosterone levels ≤ 50 ng/dL following treatment with Eligard® 1 M (93.3%), 3 M (98.3%), and 6 M (97.3%) (P > 0.05), and adverse event profiles of the three formulations were comparable. Overall, 6 M was the least expensive, with average total annual costs from €788 (Belgium) to €1839 (Portugal). The 3 M option was between 2.5% (Hungary) and 37.6% (Belgium) more expensive than 6 M; 1 M formulation was the most expensive, with costs 15.5% and 151.6% more expensive than 6 M for those countries, respectively. The 3 M option was 11.2%–45.3% less expensive than 1 M. Total costs were associated with frequency of visits for injection and monitoring. The 1 M required twelve visits, 3 M 4.4–4.8 visits, and 6 M 2.1–2.3 visits. Up to 50% additional visits could be funded with the savings resulting from switching eligible patients from 1 M and 3 M to 6 M. Results were stable in univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Conclusion
Eligard® formulations offer comparable efficacy and safety, but different dosing schedules require different number of visits. The 6 M formulation offers the greatest cost savings and should be considered the treatment of choice in eligible patients in Europe.
doi:10.2147/CEOR.S44855
PMCID: PMC3699057  PMID: 23836996
prostate; cancer; androgen; leuprolide; Eligard; cost-effectiveness
8.  The role and uptake of private health insurance in different health care systems: are there lessons for developing countries? 
Background
Social and national health insurance schemes are being introduced in many developing countries in moving towards universal health care. However, gaps in coverage are common and can only be met by out-of-pocket payments, general taxation, or private health insurance (PHI). This study provides an overview of PHI in different health care systems and discusses factors that affect its uptake and equity.
Methods
A representative sample of countries was identified (United States, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Australia, and Latvia) that illustrates the principal forms and roles of PHI. Literature describing each country’s health care system was used to summarize how PHI is utilized and the factors that affect its uptake and equity.
Results
In the United States, PHI is a primary source of funding in conjunction with tax-based programs to support vulnerable groups; in the UK and Latvia, PHI is used in a supplementary role to universal tax-based systems; in France and Latvia, complementary PHI is utilized to cover gaps in public funding; in The Netherlands, PHI is supplementary to statutory private and social health insurance; in Australia, the government incentivizes the uptake of complementary PHI through tax rebates and penalties. The uptake of PHI is influenced by age, income, education, health care system typology, and the incentives or disincentives applied by governments. The effect on equity can either be positive or negative depending on the type of PHI adopted and its role within the wider health care system.
Conclusion
PHI has many manifestations depending on the type of health care system used and its role within that system. This study has illustrated its common applications and the factors that affect its uptake and equity in different health care systems. The results are anticipated to be helpful in informing how developing countries may utilize PHI to meet the aim of achieving universal health care.
doi:10.2147/CEOR.S40386
PMCID: PMC3593711  PMID: 23494071
social health insurance; developing countries; private health insurance; health care systems
9.  Assessing equity in health care through the national health insurance schemes of Nigeria and Ghana: a review-based comparative analysis 
Background
Nigeria and Ghana have recently introduced a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with the aim of moving towards universal health care using more equitable financing mechanisms. This study compares health and economic indicators, describes the structure of each country’s NHIS within the wider healthcare system, and analyses impacts on equity in financing and access to health care.
Methods
The World Bank and other sources were used to provide comparative health and economic data. Pubmed, Embase and EconLit were searched to locate studies providing descriptions of each NHIS and empirical evidence regarding equity in financing and access to health care. A diagrammatical representation of revenue-raising, pooling, purchasing and provision was produced in order to analyse the two countries’ systems.
Results
Over the period 2000–2010, Ghana maintained a marked advantage in life expectancy, infant mortality, under-5 year mortality, and has a lower burden of major diseases. Health care expenditure is about 5% of GDP in both countries but public expenditure in 2010 was 38% of total expenditure in Nigeria and 60% in Ghana. Financing and access are less equitable in Nigeria as, inter alia, private out-of-pocket expenditure has fallen from 80% to 66% of total spending in Ghana since the introduction of its NHIS but has remained at over 90% in Nigeria; NHIS membership in Nigeria and Ghana is approximately 3.5% and 65%, respectively; Nigeria offers a variable benefits package depending on membership category while Ghana has uniform benefits across all beneficiaries. Both countries exhibit improvements in equity but there is a pro-rich and pro-urban bias in membership.
Conclusions
Major health indicators are more favourable in Ghana and overall equity in financing and access are weaker in Nigeria. Nigeria is taking steps to expand NHIS membership and has potential to expand its public spending to achieve greater equity. However, heavy burdens of poverty, disease and remote settings make this a substantial challenge. Ghana’s relative success has to be tempered by the high number of exemptions through taxation and the threat of moral hazard. The results and methods are anticipated to be informative for policy makers and researchers in both countries and other developing countries more widely.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-12-9
PMCID: PMC3626627  PMID: 23339606
Healthcare systems; Health economics; Health care expenditure; Access; Equity; Social health insurance; National Health Insurance Scheme; NHIS; Sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria; Ghana
10.  Content validity and test-retest reliability of patient perception of intensity of urgency scale (PPIUS) for overactive bladder 
BMC Urology  2012;12:26.
Background
The Patient Perception of Intensity of Urgency Scale (PPIUS) is a patient-reported outcome instrument intended to measure the intensity of urgency associated with each urinary or incontinence episode. The objectives of this study were to assess the content validity, test-retest reliability, and acclimation effect of the PPIUS in overactive bladder (OAB) patients.
Methods
Patients undergoing treatment for OAB were recruited to participate in a non-interventional study by completing a three-day micturition diary including the PPIUS for three consecutive weeks. Following completion of the three-week study, participants from two select sites also completed a cognitive interview to assess their comprehension of the PPIUS.
Results
Thirty-nine participants successfully completed the three-week test-retest study; twelve of these participants completed the cognitive interview. Test-retest reliability was high based on intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.95. Among stable patients, the difference between the mean ratings of any two weeks was non-significant. Among the twelve interview participants, nine found it simple to choose a PPIUS rating for each of their micturition episodes and most found the urgency rating definitions consistent with their urgency experiences.
Conclusions
The results demonstrated content validity based on qualitative interviews, and excellent test-retest reliability among stable patients. In addition, no acclimation effect was observed among stable patients. These findings support the use of the PPIUS as a reliable measure of urgency in both clinical trial and real life settings. The validity of PPIUS could be further established with future studies investigating the relationship between discretely graded urgency and incontinence continuum.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-12-26
PMCID: PMC3479079  PMID: 22958621
Over active bladder; OAB; Urinary urgency; Urge incontinence; Patient perception of intensity of urgency scale; PPIUS
11.  Deriving health state utilities for the numerical pain rating scale 
Background
The use of patient reported outcome measures within cost-effectiveness analysis has become commonplace. However, specific measures are required that produce values, referred to as 'utilities', that are capable of generating quality adjusted life years. One such measure - the EQ-5D - has come under criticism due to the inherent limitations of its three-level response scales. In evaluations of chronic pain, the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) which has eleven levels is routinely used which has a greater measurement range, but which can not be used in cost-effetiveness analyses. This study derived utility values for a series of EQ-5D health states that replace the pain dimensions with the NPRS, thereby allowing a potentially greater range of pain intensities to be captured and included in economic analyses.
Methods
Interviews were undertaken with 100 member of the general population. Health state valuations were elicited using the time trade-off approach with a ten year time horizon. Additionally, respondents were asked where the EQ-5D response scale descriptors of moderate and extreme pain lay on the 11-point NPRS scale.
Results
625 valuations were undertaken across the study sample with the crude mean health state utilities showing a negative non-linear relationship with respect to increasing pain intensity. Relative to a NPRS of zero (NPRS0), the successive pain levels (NPRS1-10) had mean decrements in utility of 0.034, 0.043, 0.061, 0.121, 0.144, 0.252, 0.404, 0.575, 0.771 and 0.793, respectively. When respondents were asked to mark on the NPRS scale the EQ-5D pain descriptors of moderate and extreme pain, the median responses were '4' and '8', respectively.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate the potential floor effect of the EQ-5D with respect to pain and provide estimates of health reduction associated with pain intensity described by the NPRS. These estimates are in excess of the decrements produced by an application of the EQ-5D scoring tariff for both the United States and the United Kingdom.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-9-96
PMCID: PMC3217931  PMID: 22054241
health economics; pain measurement; cost-effectiveness; quality of life

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