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Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2012 Oct;28(4):436-44. doi: 10.1017/S0266462312000608. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Cost-utility analysis of liraglutide versus glimepiride as add-on to metformin in type 2 diabetes patients in China.

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School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Australia.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term cost-utility of liraglutide versus glimepiride as add-on therapy to metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), based on the results of clinical trial conducted in Asian population.


The validated UKPDS Outcomes Model was used to project life expectancy, quality adjusted life-years (QALYs), incidence of diabetes-related complication and cost of complications in patients receiving those regimens. Baseline cohort characteristics and treatment effects were derived from an Asian study. China-specific complication costs and utility score were taken from local studies. Patients' outcomes were modeled for 30 years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated for liraglutide compared with glimepiride from the healthcare system perspective. Both future costs and clinical benefits were discounted at 3 percent. Sensitivity analyses were performed.


Over a period of 30 years, compared with glimepiride, liraglutide 1.8 mg was associated with improvements in life expectancy (0.1 year) and quality adjusted life-year (0.168 QALY), and a reduced incidence of diabetes-related complications leading to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per QALY gained versus glimepiride of CNY 25,6871 (DEC 2010, 1 USD = 6.6227 CNY).


Long-term projections indicated that liraglutide was associated with increased life expectancy, QALYs, and reduced complication incidences comparing with glimepiride. When the UK cost of liraglutide was discounted by 38 percent, liraglutide would be a cost-effective option in China from the healthcare system perspective using the 3X GDP/capita per QALY as the WTP threshold.

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