Cost Effectiveness of Becaplermin in the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers in Four European Countries
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to estimate the cost effectiveness of treating diabetic foot ulcers with becaplermin (Regranex(R)) plus good wound care (GWC) compared with GWC alone in a variety of European healthcare settings. A secondary objective was to analyse the effect of different treatment practices on the economics of caring for diabetic foot ulcers. Design and setting: Markov-based simulation study from the perspective of a national health system. Methods: A 12-month Markov computer simulation model was used to assess the cost effectiveness in 4 European countries of treating diabetic foot ulcers with becaplermin plus GWC versus GWC alone. Transition probabilities were taken from a prospective study of 183 patients and becaplermin efficacy was based on 20-week healing rates in a recent meta-analysis of clinical trials involving 449 patients. Country-specific treatment cost data were collected in collaboration with local economic consultations and combined with the disease model to estimate the incremental cost per ulcer-free month gained. The model was then run using hypothetical low- and high-intensity resource usage profiles to investigate the economics of caring for diabetic foot ulcers. Results: Over the course of 1 year, individuals who received becaplermin plus GWC were, on average, predicted to spend an additional 0.81 months (24% longer) free of ulcers and to experience a 9% lower risk of undergoing a lower extremity amputation than individuals who received GWC alone. Consequently, becaplermin plus GWC was estimated to be net cost saving in Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. In France, the addition of becaplermin was estimated to add $US19 (1999 values) for each additional ulcer-free month gained. There were substantial intercountry differences in treatment practices and the costs of treating diabetic foot ulcers. Conclusions: Becaplermin may be a cost-effective treatment for neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers in a wide range of European settings. In Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, becaplermin may even be cost saving. Substantial intercountry differences in resource patterns appear, at least partly, to be the logical outcome of differences in unit costs.
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