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J Med Econ. 2014 Mar;17(3):215-22. doi: 10.3111/13696998.2014.890936.

Cost-effectiveness of glatiramer acetate and interferon beta-1a for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, based on the CombiRx study.

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Universitat de Barcelona , Barcelona , Spain.



To assess the cost-effectiveness of the Disease Modifying Treatments (DMT), Glatiramer Acetate (GA) and Interferon beta-1a (IFN) in monotherapy alone and in combination for the prevention of relapses among Spanish patients aged between 18-60 years old with established Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS).


A Markov model was developed to represent the transition of a cohort of patients over a 10 year period using the perspective of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS). The model considered five different health states with 1-year cycles including without relapse, patients with suspect, non-protocol defined and protocol defined exacerbations, as well as a category information lost. Efficacy data was obtained from the 3-year CombiRx Study. Costs were reported in 2013 Euros and a 3% discount rate was applied for health and benefits. Deterministic results were presented as the annual treatment cost for the number of relapses. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed to test the robustness of the model.


Deterministic results showed that the expected annual cost per patient was lower when treated with GA (€13,843) compared with IFN (€15,589) and the combined treatment with IFN+GA (€21,539). The annual number of relapses were lower in the GA cohort with 3.81 vs 4.18 in the IFN cohort and 4.08 in the cohort treated with IFN+GA. Results from probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that GA has a higher probability of being cost-effective than treatment with IFN or IFN+GA for threshold values from €28,000 onwards, independent of the maximum that the Spanish NHS is willing to pay for avoiding relapses.


GA was shown to be a cost-effective treatment option for the prevention of relapses in Spanish patients diagnosed with RRMS. When GA in monotherapy is compared with INF in monotherapy and IFN+GA combined, it may be concluded that the first is the dominant strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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