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Pharmacoeconomics. 1999 Nov;16(5 Pt 2):525-31.

Cost effectiveness of fluticasone propionate and flunisolide in the treatment of corticosteroid-naive patients with moderate asthma.

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  • 1GlaxoWellcome GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. tv626@glaxowellcome.co.uk



The aim of this study was to determine the cost effectiveness of 2 inhaled corticosteroids, fluticasone propionate and flunisolide, in the management of asthma from a third-party payer perspective in Germany (German Sickness Fund).


Direct treatment costs were retrospectively applied to 2 prospective randomised parallel group clinical trials conducted in Germany comparing fluticasone propionate and flunisolide: one 6-week open-label study (n = 332) and one 8-week double-blind study (n = 308) in corticosteroid-naive patients with asthma of moderate severity aged between 18 and 70 years. All costs were adjusted to 1997 Deutschmarks. Efficacy parameters included changes in morning and evening peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) measurements, the number of successfully treated patients (defined as those with a PEFR improvement of > or = 10%) and proportion of symptom-free days.


The fluticasone propionate groups had higher respective proportions of successfully treated patients and symptom-free days than the flunisolide groups in both the open-label (56.8 vs 39.6% and 36.4 vs 28.5%) and double-blind (55.3 vs 44.5% and 35.1 vs 31.1%) studies. Improvements in both morning and evening PEFR measurements were also significantly (p < 0.01) greater with fluticasone propionate than with flunisolide. Although average daily treatment costs were slightly higher in the fluticasone propionate groups than in the flunisolide groups, all cost-effectiveness ratios (daily cost per successfully treated patient and daily cost per symptom-free day) favoured fluticasone propionate. Sensitivity analysis showed that these results were robust over a wide range of assumptions.


In these patients, management with fluticasone propionate was more cost effective than with flunisolide in the German healthcare setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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