, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 467–478 | Cite as

Cost and Cost Effectiveness of Vaginal Progesterone Gel in Reducing Preterm Birth: An Economic Analysis of the PREGNANT Trial

  • Laura T. Pizzi
  • Neil S. Seligman
  • Jason K. Baxter
  • Eric Jutkowitz
  • Vincenzo Berghella
Original Research Article



Preterm birth (PTB) is a costly public health problem in the USA. The PREGNANT trial tested the efficacy of vaginal progesterone (VP) 8 % gel in reducing the likelihood of PTB among women with a short cervix.


We calculated the costs and cost effectiveness of VP gel versus placebo using decision analytic models informed by PREGNANT patient-level data.


PREGNANT enrolled 459 pregnant women with a cervical length of 10–20 mm and randomized them to either VP 8 % gel or placebo. We used a cost model to estimate the total cost of treatment per mother and a cost-effectiveness model to estimate the cost per PTB averted with VP gel versus placebo. Patient-level trial data informed model inputs and included PTB rates in low- and high-risk women in each study group at <28 weeks gestation, 28–31, 32–36, and ≥37 weeks. Cost assumptions were based on 2010 US healthcare services reimbursements. The cost model was validated against patient-level data. Sensitivity analyses were used to test the robustness of the cost-effectiveness model.


The estimated cost per mother was $US23,079 for VP gel and $US36,436 for placebo. The cost-effectiveness model showed savings of $US24,071 per PTB averted with VP gel. VP gel realized cost savings and cost effectiveness in 79 % of simulations.


Based on findings from PREGNANT, VP gel was associated with cost savings and cost effectiveness compared with placebo. Future trials designed to include cost metrics are needed to better understand the value of VP.


Funding disclosure

Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Actavis) is the sponsor of this economic analysis. The NDA for Prochieve® was transferred to Watson Pharmaceuticals from Columbia Laboratories, Inc. during the course of this work.

Author disclosures

Pizzi, Seligman, Baxter, Jutkowitz, and Berghella have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Contributions of individual authors are as follows: Pizzi: conception, design, analysis, drafting and critical revision of the manuscript, manuscript approval, and guarantor of work; Seligman, Baxter, and Berghella: conception, design, critical revision of the manuscript, manuscript approval; Jutkowitz: conception, analysis, critical revision of manuscript, manuscript approval.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura T. Pizzi
    • 1
    • 5
  • Neil S. Seligman
    • 2
  • Jason K. Baxter
    • 3
  • Eric Jutkowitz
    • 4
  • Vincenzo Berghella
    • 3
  1. 1.Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Rochester Medical Center, School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyJefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Division of Health Policy and ManagementUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacy PracticeJefferson School of PharmacyPhiladelphiaUSA

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