The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of four injected antiosteoporotic medications including teriparatide, zoledronate, ibandronate, and denosumab for postmenopausal osteoporotic women in China.
A Markov microsimulation model was used to compare the cost-effectiveness of the four drugs above in Chinese postmenopausal osteoporotic women with no fracture history of hip, vertebral, or wrist at various ages (65, 70, 75, and 80) of therapy initiation from the health care payer perspective.
Denosumab was dominant (ie, lower costs and greater quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs]) compared with other strategies at all ages studied. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of zoledronate or ibandronate versus no treatment were $4,482.88/ QALYs or $11,378/QALYs, respectively, at age 65 years, and the results at other ages were similar. In contrast, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of teriparatide strategy compared with no treatment exceeded the pre-determined threshold of a willingness-to-pay of $31,512/QALY regardless of the adoption of the patient assistance program at all ages studied, and a threshold analysis showed that teriparatide without patient assistance program became cost-effective when the annual drug cost is decreased to $1,644.87 (current cost: $8,764.65). The cost-effectiveness decision did not change in most of the one-way sensitivity analyses. A scenario analysis considering no offset effect of denosumab showed that zoledronate had the potential to become the optimal option relative to denosumab. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, the probabilities of denosumab being cost-effective compared with other strategies were 100% at a willingness-to-pay of $31,512/QALY.
Among postmenopausal osteoporotic women in China, denosumab therapy is cost-effective at all ages examined from the health care payer perspective, compared with teriparatide, zoledronate, or ibandronate. This study will help clinicians and policymakers make better decisions about the relative economic value of osteoporosis treatments in China.