Original Research Article

PharmacoEconomics

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 479-493

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Pharmaceutical Treatment Options in the First-Line Management of Major Depressive Disorder in Belgium

  • Lieven AnnemansAffiliated withGhent University Hospital Email author 
  • , Mélanie BrignoneAffiliated withLundbeck SAS
  • , Sylvain DruaisAffiliated withAmaris
  • , Ann De PauwAffiliated withLundbeck Belgium
  • , Aline GauthierAffiliated withAmaris
  • , Koen DemyttenaereAffiliated withUniversity Hospital Gasthuisberg

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess the cost effectiveness of commonly used antidepressants as first-line treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in Belgium.

Methods

The model structure was based on a decision tree developed by the Swedish TLV (Tandvårds- och läkemedelsförmånsverket) and adapted to the Belgium healthcare setting, using primary local data on the patterns of treatment and following KCE [Federal Knowledge Center (Federaal Kenniscentrum voor de Gezondheidszorg)] recommendations. Comparators were escitalopram, citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, duloxetine, venlafaxine, and mirtazapine. In the model, patients not achieving remission or relapsing after remission on the assessed treatment moved to a second therapeutic step (titration, switch, add-on, or transfer to a specialist). In case of failure in the second step or following a suicide attempt, patients were assumed to be referred to secondary care. The time horizon was 1 year and the analysis was conducted from the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI; national health insurance) and societal perspectives. Remission rates were obtained from the TLV network meta-analysis and risk of relapse, efficacy following therapeutic change, risk of suicide attempts and related death, utilities, costs (2012), and resources were derived from the published literature and expert opinion. The effect of uncertainty in model parameters was estimated through scenario analyses and a probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA).

Results

In the base-case analysis, escitalopram was identified as the optimal strategy: it dominated all other treatments except venlafaxine from the NIHDI perspective, against which it was cost effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €6,352 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Escitalopram also dominated all other treatments from the societal perspective. At a threshold of €30,000 per QALY and from the NIHDI perspective, the PSA showed that the probability of escitalopram being identified as the optimal strategy ranged from 61 % (vs. venlafaxine) to 100 % (vs. fluoxetine).

Conclusion

Escitalopram was associated with the highest probability of being the optimal treatment from the NIHDI and societal perspectives. This analysis, based on new Belgian clinical practice data and following KCE requirements, provides additional information that may be used to guide the choice of treatments in the management of MDD in Belgium.