Economic, Patient Preference, and Health-Related Quality of Life Considerations for Intranasal Corticosteroids in Allergic Rhinitis: Implications for Managed Care
Gireesh V. Gupchup
Matthew E. Borrego
Bijal M. Shah
Allergic rhinitis, as a medical condition, merits attention because of its prevalence in the population as well as the substantial economic impact of treating it. By virtue of their efficacy and low adverse effect profile, intranasal corticosteroids have gained recognition by healthcare providers as the first-line therapy for allergic rhinitis. For managed care decision makers, the use of intranasal corticosteroids as the gold standard of treatment in allergic rhinitis makes comparative economic and humanistic (patient preference or health-related quality of life [HR-QOL]) data between the various intranasal corticosteroids increasingly important for formulary decisions. Although the equal efficacy and safety of intranasal corticosteroid products in the treatment of allergic rhinitis is well documented, research that compares the different economic and humanistic aspects of intranasal corticosteroid products is limited and less conclusive. In this article, we review published studies reporting pharmacoeconomic and humanistic analyses of intranasal corticosteroids in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and make recommendations for managed care decision makers in the selection of intranasal corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis. Based on inclusion/exclusion criteria, 15 pharmacoeconomic and 19 patient preference/HR-QOL studies were selected and reviewed. The literature reviewed does not provide evidence of the superiority of a single intranasal corticosteroid product with respect to pharmacoeconomic, patient preference, or HR-QOL considerations. This finding is primarily owing to the lack of published head-to-head studies comparing pharmacoeconomic or humanistic outcomes between the different intranasal corticosteroids. Without further head-to-head studies on intranasal corticosteroids for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, cost minimization results may be the best decision strategy for managed care organizations (MCOs). Ideally, the results of cost-effectiveness or cost-utility studies comparing the different intranasal corticosteroids should guide the final formulary decision. In the absence of such studies, pharmacoeconomic and humanistic outcomes data from studies reported in the literature should be included into a pharmacoeconomic model, which considers the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in the MCOs to guide formulary inclusion decisions. Managed care decision makers will increasingly need to request this information from drug manufacturers if an informed, evidence-based decision is to be made.
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