Objective: To simulate the cost-effectiveness of historical and modern treatment scenarios that achieve excellent vs. poor glycemic control in type 1 diabetes (T1DM).
Research design and methods: We describe and compare the costs of intensive and conventional therapies for T1DM as performed during DCCT, and modern intensive and basic therapy scenarios using insulin analogs, pens, pumps, and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to achieve excellent or poor glycemic control. We then assess the differences in treatment costs and the costs of outcomes over 30 years and report incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
Results: Over 30 years, DCCT intensive therapy cost $127,500 to $181,600 more per participant than DCCT conventional therapy, and modern intensive therapy cost $87,700 to $409,000 more per individual than modern basic therapy. Excellent glycemic control averted as much as $90,900 in costs from complications and added ~1.62 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) per participant over 30 years. When costs and QALYs were discounted at 3% annually, DCCT intensive therapy and modern intensive therapies that use multiple daily injections (MDI) or pumps are cost-saving or cost-effective (<$100,000/QALY-gained). If applied to all patients with T1DM, modern intensive therapy using pumps and CGM is not cost-effective (>$250,000/QALY-gained) but would be more cost-effective if associated with less hypoglycemia, better glycemic control, fewer complications, or improved health-related quality-of-life.
Conclusions: Use of the least expensive intensive therapy needed to safely achieve treatment goals for patients with T1DM represents a good value for money.
Keywords: Continuous glucose monitoring; Cost-effectiveness; Insulin pump therapy; Multiple daily injections; Type 1 diabetes.
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