Background: Identifying clinical scenarios that maximize the cost-effectiveness of biological treatments can lead to optimized health care cost-saving and clinical effectiveness from a society’s perspective.
Methods: Published articles between January 1995 and June 2012 were searched in PubMed, EMBASE, ABI/INFORM, Tuft’s Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry Database, Cochrane National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Studies of interest included the following: (1) cost studies, (2) economic evaluations, or (3) narrative or systematic reviews related to economic evaluations of biological treatments for moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease (CD). The primary outcomes of interest included costs associated with biological treatments and cost-effectiveness measures, including incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. A threshold of $100,000/quality-adjusted life year (£60,000/quality-adjusted life year) gained was used for treatment cost-effectiveness.
Results: Thirty-eight studies were identified, including 15 economic evaluations and 23 cost studies or reviews of economic evaluations. Economic evaluations found that infliximab and adalimumab were more cost-effective than standard therapy for luminal CD when provided as an induction therapy followed by episodic therapy over 5 or more years. The cost-effectiveness of infliximab and adalimumab versus standard therapy for luminal CD was less certain when used as 1-year maintenance treatment with or without previous induction therapy. Cost studies revealed that infliximab therapy reduced health care resource utilization and cost. Older reviews were inconclusive about the cost-effectiveness of biological treatments used for CD.
Conclusions: Current evidence suggests that biological treatments may be cost-effective for CD under certain clinical scenarios. Future studies evaluating all biological treatments are needed to compare their respective benefits and costs.