How the cost-effectiveness results change in the China health policy environment: an economic evaluation of glycopyrrolate/formoterol for the treatment of COPD

J Med Econ. 2022 Jan-Dec;25(1):356-366. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2022.2043633.


Objective: To investigate the cost-effectiveness of glycopyrrolate/formoterol compared with tiotropium bromide for the treatment of moderate-to-severe COPD in China and discuss the influence of healthcare policies on the economic evaluation.

Methods: A Markov model with seven disease states was built to evaluate the lifetime cost-effectiveness of glycopyrrolate/formoterol from the perspective of the Chinese healthcare sector. Drug prices both before and after the negotiation were applied to discuss the influence on the economic evaluation results. Exacerbation and adverse event were included in each cycle. The improvement of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and incidence rate of exacerbation were derived from pooled PINNACLE analysis. Mortality rates from Chinese life tables were adjusted using hazard ratios. Direct medical costs were modeled in accordance with the perspective chosen. Health resource utilization were derived from previous studies and expert's opinions. Life-years gained, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and incidence of exacerbation were simulated as the health outcomes. One-way sensitivity analysis and probability analysis were conducted to explore the robustness of the base case results. Several scenario analyses were also designed.

Results: Glycopyrrolate/formoterol generated an additional 0.0063 LYs and 0.0032 QALYs with lower lifetime costs compared with tiotropium (CNY 27,854 vs. CNY 33,189) and was proved to be the dominant strategy in the base case analysis. The one-way sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of the base case results. The probabilities of glycopyrrolate/formoterol being cost-effective were 96.5, 95.7, and 93.0% when CNY 72,000 (1 time GDP per capital), CNY 108,000, and CNY 216,000 were used as thresholds, respectively. Compared with the scenario where price before negotiation was used, the cost-effectiveness based on current price was significantly increased.

Conclusion: Glycopyrrolate/formoterol was demonstrated to be a clinically and cost-effective treatment for moderate-to-severe COPD in China using the latest price. The negotiation policy could increase the cost-effectiveness and benefit the patients.

Keywords: COPD; I; I1; I15; I18; LABA/LAMA; P; P4; P43; cost-effectiveness; drug price negotiation; economic evaluation; health policy.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Formoterol Fumarate / therapeutic use
  • Glycopyrrolate* / therapeutic use
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Glycopyrrolate
  • Formoterol Fumarate