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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/MIB.0b013e3182916046
Clinical Review Articles

A Systematic Review of Economic Studies on Biological Agents Used to Treat Crohn’s Disease

Tang, Derek H. MS*; Harrington, Amanda R. MS*; Lee, Jeannie K. PharmD, BCPS, CGP; Lin, Mark MD; Armstrong, Edward P. PharmD

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Abstract

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.

Copyright © 2013 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.

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