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Eur J Health Econ. 2014 May;15(4):433-7. doi: 10.1007/s10198-013-0516-x. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Comparative cost-effectiveness analysis of oral triptan therapy for migraine in four European countries.

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  • 1Rare Diseases Research Institute, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Monforte de Lemos 5 (Pabellon 11), 28029, Madrid, Spain.



To assess the differences in the cost-effectiveness of oral triptan therapy for migraines among European countries.


A cost-effectiveness analysis of triptan therapy for migraine was conducted from a health-care payer perspective in four European countries (France, Italy, Spain and the UK). The study included those orally administered triptans available in all of these countries (almotriptan, brand-name sumatriptan, generic sumatriptan, zolmitriptan), and it was performed using a decision-tree model that incorporated costs of the drugs and probabilities associated with the possible events and outcomes. Average cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated in two different scenarios.


The average cost-effectiveness ratio showed wide variations across the different countries, these differences being up to 131 % (almotriptan), 77 % (brand-name sumatriptan), 153 % (generic sumatriptan) and 77 % (zolmitriptan). Generic sumatriptan was the most cost-effective drug analysed in the studied countries.


Caution must be taken when trying to transfer conclusions of pharmacoeconomics studies on migraines even in neighbouring countries. This cross-country variability is a concern for decision-makers and also for the elaboration of international recommendations and clinical practice guidelines.

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