Cost-effectiveness of liraglutide versus rosiglitazone, both in combination with glimepiride in treatment of type 2 diabetes in the US

Curr Med Res Opin. 2011 May;27(5):897-906. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2011.559444. Epub 2011 Feb 25.


Background: Many patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are not able to maintain adequate HbA(1c) control (<7.0%), even at maximal dosage levels of one or two oral agents, and are at increased risk for diabetes-related complications.

Objective: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of a once-daily GLP-1 analog Victoza [Novo Nordisk] versus a thiazolidinedione (TZD), rosiglitazone in patients with T2DM. Both treatment groups included background therapy with glimepiride.

Research design and methods: The CORE Diabetes Model (CDM) was used to project and compare 35-year clinical and economic outcomes associated with liraglutide 1.2 mg + glimepiride and liraglutide 1.8 mg + glimepiride versus rosiglitazone 4 mg + glimepiride. Baseline cohort characteristics (HbA(1c) (8.4%), age, duration of disease, sex, body-mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and lipids) were based on the Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes-1 (LEAD-1) trial.

Outcomes: Primary outcomes included life expectancy (LE), quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), total costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). results: When compared to rosiglitazone, liraglutide 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg increased mean LE by 0.968 and 1.041 years, and QALYs by 0.764 and 0.837, respectively. Total lifetime costs increased by $26,094 for liraglutide 1.2 mg versus rosiglitazone, and by $47,041 for liraglutide 1.8 mg versus rosiglitazone. ICERs for liraglutide 1.2 mg versus rosiglitazone and 1.8 mg versus rosiglitazone were $34,147 and $56,190, respectively.

Conclusions: Compared to rosiglitazone 4 mg plus glimepiride, liraglutide (particularly at the 1.2-mg dose) plus glimepiride is a cost-effective treatment option for improving glucose control in T2DM. Limitations include the projection of short term efficacy results from randomized control trials to longer time horizons. In addition, clinical acceptance and overall use of rosiglitazone in the treatment of diabetes has continued to fall since publication of the clinical trial upon which this modeling analyses was based.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / economics
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / economics
  • Female
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / administration & dosage
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / economics
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / economics
  • Liraglutide
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds* / administration & dosage
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds* / economics
  • Thiazolidinediones* / administration & dosage
  • Thiazolidinediones* / economics
  • United States


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Rosiglitazone
  • glimepiride
  • Liraglutide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1