Cost Effectiveness of Pramipexole in Parkinson's Disease in the US
Thomas J. Hoerger
Mohan V. Bala
Elizabeth A. Chrischilles
Robert G. Holloway
Objective: Pramipexole was recently approved in the US for treatment of the symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Although pramipexole has been found to be safe and efficacious when compared with placebo, little data are yet available on its cost effectiveness when compared with baseline treatment. The aim of this study was to estimate the costs and cost effectiveness (cost utility) of pramipexole compared with baseline treatment in patients with early and advanced PD. Design and Setting: We developed a cost-effectiveness (CE) model in the US setting that linked Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Parts II (activities of daily life) and III (motor) scores to disease progression, costs and patient utility. Data for the model were obtained from clinical trials, a literature review and a survey of 193 patients' health resource use and utility. We used cost and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) estimates from the model to estimate the incremental cost effectiveness of pramipexole relative to baseline treatment patterns. We performed separate analyses for patients with early and advanced PD. We also performed extensive sensitivity analyses by adding other dopamine agonists to the no-pramipexole treatment regimen and varying disease progression parameters. The study was conducted from the societal perspective, although data presentation allows interpretation of cost effectiveness from either the societal or payer perspective. Main Outcome Measures and Results: For patients with both early and advanced PD, treatment with pramipexole had higher costs but was more effective than baseline treatment. For patients with early onset of PD, the incremental total CE ratio for pramipexole was $US8837/QALY. For patients with advanced PD, the incremental CE ratio was $US12 294/QALY (1997 costs). These ratios were lower than the CE ratios of many widely used medical treatments. Conclusions: Subject to the inherent limitations of modelling chronic disease progression and subsequent healthcare costs and patient utility, the results suggested that pramipexole was a cost effective treatment for patients with early and advanced PD in the US.
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