Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Crohns Colitis. 2013 Mar;7(2):167-74. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2012.04.007. Epub 2012 May 22.

Economic impact of combination therapy with infliximab plus azathioprine for drug-refractory Crohn's disease: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Informatics and Statistics, Niigata University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.



Combination therapy with infliximab (IFX) and azathioprine (AZA) is significantly more effective for treatment of active Crohn's disease (CD) than IFX monotherapy. However, AZA is associated with an increased risk of lymphoma in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.


To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of combination therapy with IFX plus AZA for drug-refractory CD.


A decision analysis model is constructed to compare, over a time horizon of 1year, the cost-effectiveness of combination therapy with IFX plus AZA and that of IFX monotherapy for CD patients refractory to conventional non-anti-TNF-α therapy. The treatment efficacy, adverse effects, quality-of-life scores, and treatment costs are derived from published data. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses are performed to estimate the uncertainty in the results.


The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of combination therapy with IFX plus AZA is 24,917 GBP/QALY when compared with IFX monotherapy. The sensitivity analyses reveal that the utility score of nonresponding active disease has the strongest influence on the cost-effectiveness, with ICERs ranging from 17,147 to 45,564 GBP/QALY. Assuming that policy makers are willing to pay 30,000 GBP/QALY, the probability that combination therapy with IFX plus AZA is cost-effective is 0.750.


Combination therapy with IFX plus AZA appears to be a cost-effective treatment for drug-refractory CD when compared with IFX monotherapy. Furthermore, the additional lymphoma risk of combination therapy has little significance on its cost-effectiveness.

Copyright © 2012 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk