Cost Effectiveness of Emedastine versus Levocabastine in the Treatment of Allergic Conjunctivitis in 7 European Countries
Carlos Gouveia Pinto
Mark J.C. Nuijten
Objective: To assess the cost effectiveness of emedastine, a new antihistamine, versus levocabastine in the treatment of acute allergic conjunctivitis (AAC) in Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Design and setting: Randomised double-blind multicountry clinical trial followed by economic modelling from the treatment provider perspective. Patients: A total of 221 patients (109 emedastine, 112 levocabastine) with AAC were included. Methods: The clinical trial compared the efficacy and safety of emedastine 0.05% and levocabastine 0.05%, both twice daily, for 42 days, using ocular redness, itching, days without symptoms and clinical failure as outcome measures. The cost of first-line treatment failure, including visits, drugs and laboratory examinations, was established in each country from a panel of ophthalmologists and general practitioners. Full sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results: From day 7 to 42, patients treated with emedastine had less itching (p < 0.001) and less redness (p < 0.001). The failure rate was 10% less (p < 0.02) with emedastine and patients treated with emedastine had an incremental 8.5 days (p < 0.01) without symptoms. Emedastine and levocabastine were equally well tolerated. In all European countries, the cost of failure was lower with emedastine. Emedastine was found to be economically dominant relative to levocabastine, i.e. more effective and less expensive, in Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Sweden; in France, The Netherlands and Norway the incremental cost was low (less than 1 euro per additional symptom-free day). Conclusion: Through a model based on a randomised clinical trial and cost estimates of treatment failure derived from practitioner interviews, emedastine is a cost-effective treatment of AAC.
Allergic conjunctivitis, Antihistamines, Cost analysis, Emedastine, Levocabastine, Pharmacoeconomics, Resource use
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