Cost-Effectiveness of Wet AMD Treatments Analyzed

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In the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, aflibercept injection appears to be just as effective as ranibizumab when the latter is administered monthly, but it is less costly, according to a recent analysis. Meanwhile, aflibercept costs more than ranibizumab when the latter is given as needed, but it appears to be more effective.

Investigators conducted a Markov cohort model analysis to estimate the lifetime quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs of treating patients with aflibercept injection 2 mg every 8 weeks after 3 initial monthly doses, vs ranibizumab 0.5 mg either monthly or as needed. Analyzing data from the VIEW 1, VIEW 2, and Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials, researchers looked at best-corrected visual acuity change, as well the impact of blindness on mortality.

When ranibizumab was administered monthly:

  • Both medications offered similar QALYs (5.44)
  • Aflibercept cost a total of ~$33,750 vs. $48,000 for ranibizumab PRN.

When ranibizumab was administered as needed:

  • Aflibercept yielded slightly greater QALYs (5.44 vs. 5.40).
  • Ranibizumab’s total cost of ~$33,650 was slightly less than the cost of aflibercept, with an incremental cost per QALY gained of nearly $2,600.

Hernandez L, Lantis T, Cele C, Toro-Diaz H, Kuznik A. Intravitreal aflibercept versus ranibizumab for wet age-related macular degeneration: A cost-effectiveness analysis. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2018;24(7):608-616. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2018.24.7.608.

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