Objective: The cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) of infliximab (Remicade) treatment in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was estimated on the basis of a clinical trial comparing infliximab plus methotrexate with methotrexate alone in 428 patients with advanced disease [Anti-Tumour Necrosis Factor Trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis with Concomitant Therapy (ATTRACT)].
Methods: The effect of infliximab on disease progression and related costs and utilities was estimated using two disease progression models based on epidemiological cohorts followed for up to 15 yr in Sweden and the UK. The clinical trial data were used directly in the model and extrapolated to 10 yr using a cohort from the epidemiological studies matched for gender, age, time since onset of RA and disease severity.
Results: One to two years of treatment with infliximab treatment reduced direct and indirect resource consumption in both countries, thereby partly offsetting the treatment cost. In the base case, including both direct and indirect costs, the cost per QALY gained was SEK 32 000 (euro 3440) in Sweden and GBP 21 600 (euro 34 800) for 1 yr of treatment. The respective QALY gains were 0.248 and 0.298. With 2 yr of treatment, the costs per QALY gained were SEK 150 000 (euro 16 100) and GBP 29 900 (euro;48 200).
Conclusions: Although 1-2 yr of treatment with infliximab will lead to savings in both direct and indirect costs, these will not offset the drug cost. However, the cost-effectiveness ratios remain within the usual range for treatments to be recommended for use.