Brolucizumab vs aflibercept and ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration: A cost-effectiveness analysis

Justin S. Yu, Rashad Carlton, Neetu Agashivala, Tarek Hassan, Charles C. Wykoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries. Despite antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy demonstrating improvements in visual and anatomical outcomes, unmet needs remain. Brolucizumab-dbll (ie, brolucizumab), a VEGF inhibitor for treatment of neovascular (wet) AMD and recently approved by the FDA for its treatment of wet AMD, attempts to mitigate treatment burden through less frequent injections. OBJECTIVE: To assess the incremental costeffectiveness of brolucizumab compared with aflibercept and ranibizumab, given similar costs per injection and the potential for longer dosing intervals based on phase 3 clinical trial data. METHODS: A Markov model was developed to model the treatment of wet AMD patients with brolucizumab vs aflibercept and vs ranibizumab over a lifetime time horizon (base case) and 5-year time horizon (scenario analysis). The Markov model consisted of 3 primary health states: on treatment, off treatment, and death. Markov substates (5 total) described visual acuity (VA) ranging from no vision impairment to blindness. These VA-based substates were defined by best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) values measured using Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters. Fixed-dosing regimens for each therapy were included in the model: dosing every 4 weeks (q4w) for the first 3 months followed by dosing q8w/q12w for brolucizumab, dosing q4w for the first 3 months followed by dosing q8w for aflibercept, and q4w for ranibizumab. RESULTS: In the base case, brolucizumab was less costly than aflibercept ($63,614 vs $72,189), and brolucizumab generated 0.0079 more quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) than aflibercept (4.580 vs 4.572). Lower total costs with brolucizumab were driven by reduced drug costs ($56,432 vs $64,057), reduced administration costs ($6,013 vs $6,825), and reduced monitoring costs ($1,168 vs $1,306). When evaluating the cost-effectiveness of brolucizumab over a 5-year time horizon, brolucizumab was less costly than aflibercept ($44,644 vs $50,772) and generated an additional 0.0049 QALYs (2.953 vs 2.948). Additionally, brolucizumab was less costly than ranibizumab ($63,614 vs $128,163) and generated 0.0078 more QALYs than ranibizumab (4.580 vs 4.572) in the base case. Lower total costs with brolucizumab were driven by reduced drug costs ($56,432 vs $114,516), reduced administration costs ($6,013 vs $11,541), and reduced monitoring costs ($1,168 vs $2,107). When evaluating the cost-effectiveness of brolucizumab over a 5-year time horizon, brolucizumab was less costly than ranibizumab ($44,644 vs $89,665), and brolucizumab generated an additional 0.0046 QALYs (2.953 vs 2.948). CONCLUSIONS: Brolucizumab can be cost saving and cost-effective compared with aflibercept and ranibizumab in the treatment of wet AMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-752
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy

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