Mycophenolate Mofetil: A Pharmacoeconomic Review of its Use in Solid Organ Transplantation
Greg L. Plosker
Most pharmacoeconomic studies of mycophenolate mofetil have focused on its use as part of maintenance immunosuppression for renal transplantation, involving short-term (3 to 12 months) time frames. In general, mycophenolate mofetil reduced the treatment costs for rejection episodes and graft failure which offset its higher drug acquisition cost compared with azathioprine. Several cost analyses have been modelled on the large multicentre trials of adult renal transplant recipients. The use of mycophenolate mofetil was associated with either cost savings or no additional costs after 6 or 12 months in French, US and Canadian analyses of triple or quadruple immunosuppressant therapy. A further cost analysis utilising a registry database of renal transplant recipients in the US found mycophenolate mofetil to be cost saving compared with azathioprine after 6.4 years when evaluating costs due to graft loss only. Of the limited cost-effectiveness analyses with the drug, one US study modelled the 1- and 10-year cost effectiveness of mycophenolate mofetil and various other immunosuppressants used in combined regimens. Long-term use of mycophenolate mofetil was less cost effective than other regimens, but the use of long-term mycophenolate mofetil in high-risk patients was shown to be a relatively cost-effective strategy. In another US analysis comparing mycophenolate mofetil with azathioprine as part of quadruple therapy, mycophenolate mofetil was associated with slightly lower costs during the first year after renal transplantation as well as improved clinical outcomes. Conclusion: Pharmacoeconomic studies support the use of mycophenolate mofetil as part of immunosuppressant therapy in renal transplantation, at least in the short term. Although the cost effectiveness of mycophenolate mofetil in the long term is less clear, limited pharmacoeconomic data available appear promising. Among issues to be examined in future economic analyses in renal transplantation are the calcineurin-sparing potential of mycophenolate mofetil and the feasibility of using more efficient mycophenolate mofetil dosage regimens when using the drug on a long-term basis. Additional pharmacoeconomic analyses of mycophenolate mofetil are also needed in other types of solid organ transplantation.
Cost analysis, Drug evaluations, Immunosuppressants, Mycophenolate mofetil, Pharmacoeconomics, Transplant rejection
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