Real-world Cost-Effectiveness: Lower Cost of Treating Patients to Glycemic Goal With Liraglutide Versus Exenatide

Adv Ther. 2014 Feb;31(2):202-16. doi: 10.1007/s12325-014-0098-8. Epub 2014 Jan 30.


Introduction: While the liraglutide effect and action in diabetes (LEAD-6) clinical trial compared the efficacy and safety of liraglutide once daily (LIRA) to exenatide twice daily (EXEN) in adult patients with type 2 diabetes, few studies have explored the associated per-patient costs of glycemic goal achievement of their use in a real-world clinical setting.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study used integrated medical and pharmacy claims linked with glycated hemoglobin A1C (A1C) results from the IMS Patient-Centric Integrated Data Warehouse. Patients' ≥18 years and naïve to incretin therapies during a 6-month pre-index period, with ≥1 prescription for LIRA or EXEN between January 2010 and December 2010, were included. Patients with evidence of insulin use (pre- or post-index) were excluded. Only patients who were persistent on their index treatment during a 180-day post-index period were included. Follow-up A1C assessments were based on available laboratory data within 45 days before or after the 6-month post-index point in time. Diabetes-related pharmacy costs over the 6-month post-index period were captured and included costs for both the index drugs and concomitant diabetes medications.

Results: 234 LIRA and 182 EXEN patients were identified for the analysis. The adjusted predicted diabetes-related pharmacy costs per patient over the 6-month post-index period were higher for LIRA compared to EXEN ($2,002 [95% confidence interval (CI): $1,981, $2,023] vs. $1,799 [95% CI: $1,778, $1,820]; P < 0.001). However, a higher adjusted predicted percentage of patients on LIRA reached A1C < 7% goal (64.4% [95% CI: 63.5, 65.3] vs. 53.6% [95% CI: 52.6, 54.6]; P < 0.05), translating into lower average diabetes-related pharmacy costs per successfully treated patient for LIRA as compared to EXEN ($3,108 vs. $3,354; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Although predicted diabetes-related pharmacy costs were greater with LIRA vs. EXEN, a higher proportion of patients on LIRA achieved A1C < 7%, resulting in a lower per-patient cost of A1C goal achievement with LIRA compared to EXEN.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / economics*
  • Drug Costs
  • Exenatide
  • Female
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / economics
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / therapeutic use
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / economics*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Liraglutide
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / economics*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venoms / economics*
  • Venoms / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Peptides
  • Venoms
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Liraglutide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Exenatide