Aims: To evaluate the long-term clinical and economic outcomes associated with insulin detemir and neutral protamine hagedorn (NPH) insulin in combination with mealtime insulin aspart in patients with type 1 diabetes in Sweden, based on data from a two-year, multi-national, open-label, randomized, controlled trial.
Methods: Insulin detemir was associated with significant improvements in glycaemic control after 24 months (HbA1c 7.36% versus 7.58%, mean difference -0.22%, p = 0.022) and major hypoglycaemic events (69% risk reduction, p = 0.001) versus NPH. Patients treated with detemir gained less weight (1.7 versus 2.7 kg, P = 0.024). Based on these findings, a published and validated computer model (IMS CORE Diabetes Model) was used to estimate life-expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy and both direct medical costs and indirect costs.
Results: Basal-bolus therapy with insulin detemir was projected to improve life expectancy by 0.14 years (15.02 ± 0.19 versus 14.88 ± 0.18 years) and quality-adjusted life expectancy by 0.53 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) versus NPH (8.35 ± 0.11 versus 7.82 ± 0.10 QALYs). Improvements in QALYs were driven by avoided or delayed diabetes-related complications and fewer hypoglycaemic events. Direct medical costs over patient lifetimes were SEK 26,144 higher in the insulin detemir arm (SEK 995,025 ± 19,580 versus 968,881 ± 19,769), leading to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of SEK 49,757 per QALY gained. Capturing indirect costs led to insulin detemir being cost saving over patient lifetimes, by SEK 80,113, compared to NPH (SEK 2,959,909 ± 64,727 versus 3,040,022 ± 62,317).
Conclusions: Compared with NPH, insulin detemir is likely to be cost-effective from a healthcare payer perspective and dominant from a societal perspective in patients with type 1 diabetes in Sweden.