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Pharmacoeconomics. 2011 Jun;29(6):461-74. doi: 10.2165/11589250-000000000-00000.

Pharmacoeconomic considerations in treating iron overload in patients with β-thalassaemia, sickle cell disease and myelodysplastic syndromes in the US: a literature review.

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Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.


Patients with β-thalassaemia, sickle cell disease (SCD) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) require chronic blood transfusions, which can lead to iron overload and substantial morbidity and mortality. To reduce the excess iron and its deleterious effects, available iron chelation therapy (ICT) in the US includes oral deferasirox or infusional deferoxamine (DFO). The aim of this study was to review and synthesize the available pharmacoeconomic evidence on ICT in patients with β-thalassaemia, SCD and MDS in the US. We systematically identified and reviewed pharmacoeconomic studies of ICT in patients with β-thalassaemia, SCD and MDS that either were published in MEDLINE-indexed, English-language journals from 1999 to 2009, or appeared in medical society websites and scientific meeting abstracts. We assessed available cost-of-illness, cost-of-treatment, cost-consequence, cost-effectiveness, utility and patient-satisfaction studies. The majority of the 20 identified studies assessed cost of treatment, mainly focusing on acquisition and administration costs of ICTs. Gaps in the published literature include current data on direct medical costs for patients with MDS, direct medical costs associated with complications of iron overload, direct non-medical costs, indirect costs and patient utilities. Different underlying model assumptions, methodologies and comparators were found in the cost-effectiveness studies, which yielded a broad range of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for different ICTs. Comprehensive cost-of-illness studies are needed to address data gaps in the published literature regarding the economic burden of iron overload. Comparative-effectiveness studies that evaluate clinical, economic and patient-reported outcomes would help the medical community to better understand the value of different ICTs.

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