Systematic literature review of the economic burden of spinal muscular atrophy and economic evaluations of treatments

T. Dangouloff, C. Botty, C. Beaudart, L. Servais, M. Hiligsmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

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


BackgroundSpinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare and devastating condition for which new disease-modifying treatments have recently been approved. Given the increasing importance of economic considerations in healthcare decision-making, this review summarizes the studies assessing the cost of SMA and economic evaluations of treatments. A systematic review of the literature in PubMed and Scopus up to 15 September 2020 was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines.ResultsNine studies reporting the annual cost of care of patients with SMA and six evaluations of the cost-effectiveness of SMA treatments were identified. The average annual cost of SMA1, the most frequent and severe form in which symptoms appear before the age of 6 months were similar according to the different studies, ranged from $75,047 to $196,429 per year. The yearly costs for the forms of the later-onset form, called SMA2, SMA3, and SMA4, which were usually pooled in estimates of healthcare costs, were more variable, ranging from $27,157 to $82,474. The evaluations of cost-effectiveness of treatment compared nusinersen treatment against standard of care (n=3), two treatments (nusinersen and onasemnogene abeparvovec) against each other and no drug treatment (n=1), nusinersen versus onasemnogene abeparvovec (n=1), and standard of care versus nusinersen with and without newborn screening (n=1). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of nusinersen compared to standard of care in SMA1 ranged from $210,095 to $1,150,455 per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained and that for onasemnogene abeparvovec ranged from $32,464 to $251,403. For pre-symptomatic patients, the ICER value ranged from $206,409 to $735,519. The ICERs for later-onset forms of SMA (2, 3 and 4) were more diverse ranging from $275,943 to $8,438,049.ConclusionThis review confirms the substantial cost burden of standard of care for SMA patients and the high cost-effectiveness ratios of the approved drugs at the current price when delivered in post-symptomatic patients. Since few studies have been conducted so far, there is a need for further prospective and independent economic studies in pre- and post-symptomatic patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Number of pages16
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2021


  • Burden
  • Cost
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economic
  • ICER
  • Nusinersen
  • Onasemnogene abeparvovec
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • burden
  • cost
  • cost-effectiveness
  • economic
  • icer
  • nusinersen
  • onasemnogene abeparvovec
  • spinal muscular atrophy
  • SMA


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