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Pharmacoeconomics. 2019 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s40273-019-00841-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Vedolizumab Compared with Other Biologics in Anti-TNF-Naïve Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Ulcerative Colitis in Japan.

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Evidera Inc, 500 Totten Pond Road, 5th Floor, Waltham, MA, 02451, USA.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, 1-1, Nihonbashi-Honcho 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8668, Japan.
Evidera Inc, 500 Totten Pond Road, 5th Floor, Waltham, MA, 02451, USA.
Evidera Inc, 7575 Trans-Canada Hwy, Suite 404, St-Laurent, QC, H4T 1V6, Canada.
Evidera Inc, The Ark, 201 Talgarth Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 8BJ, United Kingdom.



Vedolizumab (VDZ) was approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2018 for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis (UC). The comparative cost-effectiveness of VDZ compared with other biologics is unknown in Japan. This information could be useful for decision makers at the time of repricing biologics for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe UC.


The aim was to assess the cost-effectiveness of VDZ versus other branded biologics for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe UC who were anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-naïve, from the Japanese public healthcare payer perspective.


A hybrid decision tree/Markov model was developed to predict the number of patients who achieved response and remission at the end of the induction phase and sustained it during the maintenance phase, translating this into quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs. Treatment-related adverse events, discontinuation and surgery, and their impact on QALYs and costs were also modeled. A systematic literature review and network meta-analysis were conducted to estimate the comparative efficacy of each treatment versus placebo. Rates of adverse events, surgery, surgery complications, and utilities were from the literature. Costs (2018 Japanese yen) were obtained from the Japanese National Health Insurance drug price list and medical fee table and local claims databases. Clinical and economic outcomes were projected over a lifetime and discounted at 2% annually.


Over a lifetime, VDZ yielded greater QALYs and cost savings compared with golimumab and was cost-effective compared with adalimumab and infliximab (incremental cost-effectiveness ratios ¥4,821,940 and ¥4,687,692, respectively). Deterministic and probabilistic analyses supported the robustness of the findings in the base-case analysis, indicating that VDZ was either dominant or cost-effective in most scenarios and replications. The main limitations of this analysis include excluding tofacitinib and infliximab biosimilar as comparators, health-state utility estimates were obtained from population studies in the United Kingdom, and the impact of subsequent (i.e., second-line) biologic treatment was not evaluated.


Our analysis suggests that VDZ is dominant or cost-effective compared with other branded biologics for the treatment of anti-TNF-naïve patients with moderate-to-severe UC in Japan.


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