Cost-Effectiveness of Dimethyl Fumarate Compared to Teriflunomide for Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Italy

Lorenzo Giovanni Mantovani, Paolo Angelo Cortesi, Alessandra Cardillo, Laura Santoni, Luca Prosperini



BACKGROUND: The objective of this economic analysis was to compare the cost-effectiveness of dimethyl fumarate vs teriflunomide for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in the Italian setting. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness analysis was used to predict some patient-relevant outcomes such as burden of relapses and survival with disability over time.

METHODS: A Markov model was used to conduct the cost-effectiveness analysis. The model measured health outcomes and costs of RRMS patients treated with either dimethyl fumarate or teriflunomide. Data from a published mixed treatment comparison were used for efficacy and safety input. Local economic data were used to calculate costs. A supplementary analysis was carried out to assess ICER variability over time from the Italian National Healthcare Service (NHS) and societal perspectives. Further analyses were conducted to compare clinical effectiveness of the alternatives over time, in terms of incidence of relapses, proportion of patients with EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) score ≤3 and EDSS score ≥6.

RESULTS: In the base-case analysis (lifetime horizon; societal perspective) dimethyl fumarate was dominant over teriflunomide (6.526 vs 5.953 QALYs – quality-adjusted life-years; € 1.01 M vs € 1.03 M). The most relevant cost savings (per-patient) with dimethyl fumarate were related to relapses (-€ 5,096), inpatient care (-€ 5,767), informal care (-€ 9,603), long-term absence/early retirement (-€ 14,187). The additional analysis of ICER by time horizon shows that dimethyl fumarate is cost-effective vs teriflunomide (i.e., ICER <€ 50,000 per QALY gained) at already 6 years and at 15 years in societal or NHS perspectives, respectively. Results favoured dimethyl fumarate vs teriflunomide also for: cumulative burden of relapses (-0.23 and -1.37 relapses saved per patient already at 1 year and 10 years, respectively), proportion of patients with mild disability (+4.0% at 10 years), proportion of patients with severe disability (-4.0% at 10 years).

CONCLUSIONS: Dimethyl fumarate is dominant (societal perspective), or cost-effective (NHS perspective), referring to a threshold of € 50,000 per QALY gained, vs teriflunomide for the first-line treatment of RRMS, in the Italian setting.


Dimethyl Fumarate; Teriflunomide; Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis; Cost-Effectiveness; Quality-Adjusted Survival

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