A systematic review on the quality, validity and usefulness of current cost-effectiveness studies for treatments of neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Mari Elshout*, Carroll A. B. Webers, Margriet I. van der Reis, Jan S. A. G. Schouten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Purpose Ophthalmologists increasingly depend on new drugs to advance their treatment options. These options are limited by restraints on reimbursements for new and expensive drugs. These restraints are put in place through health policy decisions based on cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA). Cost-effectiveness analyses need to be valid and of good quality to support correct decisions to create new treatment opportunities. In this study, we report the quality, validity and usefulness of CEAs for therapies for nAMD. Methods A systematic review in PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane was performed to include CEAs. Quality and validity assessment was based on current general quality criteria and on elements that are specific to the field of ophthalmology. Results Forty-eight CEAs were included in the review. Forty-four CEAs did not meet four basic model quality and validity criteria specific to CEAs in the field of ophthalmology (both eyes analysed instead of one; a time horizon extending beyond 4 years; extrapolating VA and treatment intervals beyond trial data realistically; and including the costs of low-vision). Four CEAs aligned with the quality and validity criteria. In two of these CEAs bevacizumab as-needed (PRN) was more cost-effective than bevacizumab monthly; aflibercept (VIEW); or ranibizumab monthly or PRN. In two CEAs, ranibizumab (PRN or treat and extent) was dominant over aflibercept. In two other CEAs, aflibercept was either more cost-effective or dominant over ranibizumab monthly or PRN. Conclusion Two of the CEAs of sufficient quality and validity show that bevacizumab PRN is the most cost-effective treatment. Comparing ranibizumab and aflibercept, either treatment can be more cost-effective depending on the assumptions used for drug prices and treatment frequencies. The majority of the published CEAs are of insufficient quality and validity. They wrongly inform decision-makers at the cost of opportunities for ophthalmologists to treat patients. As such, they may negatively influence overall patient outcomes and societal costs. For future ophthalmic treatments, CEAs need to be improved and only published when they are of sufficient quality and validity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-778
Number of pages9
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Volume96
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • aflibercept
  • bevacizumab
  • cost-effectiveness
  • exudative age-related macular degeneration
  • photodynamic therapy
  • ranibizumab
  • VERTEPORFIN PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY
  • UTILITY ANALYSIS
  • CONTRAST SENSITIVITY
  • OF-LIFE
  • CHOROIDAL NEOVASCULARIZATION
  • LASER PHOTOCOAGULATION
  • RANIBIZUMAB LUCENTIS
  • PEGAPTANIB SODIUM
  • VISUAL-ACUITY
  • BEVACIZUMAB

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