Background: Not all patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) respond to levodopa and others develop dyskinesias. Ropinirole, a dopamine agonist, is associated with fewer dyskinesias than levodopa.
Objective: To examine the economic impact of reducing dyskinesias using ropinirole instead of levodopa plus benserazide in PD was examined. The research question addressed was: is the added cost of ropinirole offset by savings due to avoided cases of dyskinesia?
Methods: A cost-minimisation analysis was performed from both the societal and Ministry of Health (MoH) of Ontario, Canada perspectives, using 5-year data from a study of dyskinesia outcomes comparing ropinirole with levodopa plus benserazide. A predictive model was developed to capture resource utilisation over 5 years, such as medication costs, medical consultations, hospital admissions, nursing home admissions, caregiver time and productivity loss. The model was based on a previously reported clinical trial which determined dyskinesia rates to be 20% for ropinirole and 45% for levodopa. Standard costing lists were used, and costs were discounted at various rates. Constant 1999 Canadian dollars ($Can) were applied, and no increases were assumed over the time horizon of the analysis. A multivariate sensitivity analysis with changes in key parameters was also performed.
Results: From a societal perspective, ropinirole was cost saving. From the MoH perspective, the analysis yielded an incremental expected daily cost/patient of $Can4.41 for substituting levodopa plus benserazide with ropinirole. Ropinirole resulted in daily savings/patient of $Can0.17 in non-drug healthcare costs. In the sensitivity analysis, the direction of results did not change despite changes of 15 to 20% in key parameters, suggesting robustness of the model.
Conclusions: From the societal perspective, in comparison with levodopa plus benserazide, the added cost of ropinirole is offset by savings due to avoided cases of dyskinesia.