How Much Value Would a Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease Offer? Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds for Pricing a Disease-Modifying Therapy

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2020;17(9):819-822. doi: 10.2174/1567205017666201203121907.


Background: Recent trials suggest that disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for Alzheimer's disease may become available soon. With the expected high price and a large patient pool, the budget impact will be substantial.

Objective: We explore combinations of effectiveness and price under which a DMT is cost-effective.

Methods: We used an open-source model to conduct two-way scenario analyses for both payer and societal perspectives, varying price, and treatment effect size simultaneously. The analysis generates costeffectiveness threshold prices over a potential range of DMT effectiveness in patients aged 65+ with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease in the US.

Results: Under the willingness-to-pay a threshold of $150,000 per quality-adjusted life year and assuming 30% risk reduction relative to the standard of care, the maximum cost-effective price of a DMT per patient per year is ~$22,000 and ~$15,000 from societal and payer perspectives, respectively.

Conclusion: Joint variation of price and treatment effect size can help assess the cost-effectiveness of a potential Alzheimer's disease treatment.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; cost-effectiveness analysis; dementia; disease-modifying therapy; drug development; mild cognitive impairment; pricing.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods*
  • Drug Development / economics*
  • Drug Development / methods*
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Treatment Outcome