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Pharmacoeconomics. 1997 Nov;12(5):565-77.

Economic evaluation of oral sumatriptan compared with oral caffeine/ergotamine for migraine.

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Saskatchewan Health, Regina, Canada.


We conducted an economic comparison of oral sumatriptan with oral caffeine/ergotamine in the treatment of patients with migraine. Cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-benefit analyses were conducted from societal and health-departmental perspectives. A decision tree was used. Utilities were assigned to health states using the Quality of Well-Being Scale. Simple and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were also carried out. From a societal perspective, using sumatriptan instead of caffeine/ergotamine resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of -25 Canadian dollars ($Can) per attack aborted, an incremental cost-utility ratio of -$Can7507 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), and a net economic benefit of $Can42 per patient per year (1995 values). From the perspective of the health department, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $Can98 per attack aborted, the incremental cost-utility ratio was $Can29,366 per QALY; the grade of recommendation based on past decisions regarding health technology for adoption into health insurance plans was 'moderate'. Sensitivity analysis showed that the results were robust to relatively large changes in the input variables. The incremental health benefits obtained from using oral sumatriptan rather than oral caffeine/ergotamine were achieved at moderately acceptable incremental costs, if past decisions on the adoption of other health technologies are used as a guide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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