Background: In Crohn's disease patients failing infliximab therapy, interventions defined by an algorithm based on infliximab and anti-infliximab antibody measurements have proven more cost-effective than intensifying the infliximab regimen.
Aim: This study investigated long-term economic outcomes at the week 20 follow-up study visit and after 1 year. Clinical outcomes were assessed at week 20.
Methods: Follow-up from a 12-week, single-blind, clinical trial where patients with infliximab treatment failure were randomized to infliximab intensification (5 mg/kg every 4 weeks) (n = 36), or algorithm-defined interventions (n = 33). Accumulated costs, expressed as mean costs per patient, were based on the Danish National Patient Registry.
Results: At the scheduled week 20 follow-up study visit, response and remission rates were similar in all study subpopulations between patients treated by the algorithm or by infliximab intensification. However, the sum of healthcare costs related to Crohn's disease was substantially lower (31 %) for patients randomized to algorithm-based interventions than infliximab intensification in the intention-to-treat population: $11,940 versus $17,236; p = 0.005. For per-protocol patients (n = 55), costs at the week 20 follow-up visit were even lower (49 %) in the algorithm group: $8,742 versus $17,236; p = 0.002. Figures were similar for patients having completed the 12-week trial as per protocol (50 % reduction in costs) (n = 45). Among patients continuing the allocated study intervention throughout the entire 20-week follow-up period (n = 29), costs were reduced by 60 % in algorithm-treated patients: $7,056 versus $17,776; p < 0.001. Cost-reduction percentages remained stable throughout one year.
Conclusion: Economic benefit of algorithm-based interventions at infliximab failure is maintained throughout 1 year.