Alitretinoina nell’eczema cronico grave alle mani. Valutazione di tecnologia singola presso il NICE
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Alitretinoin for Severe Chronic Hand Eczema. A NICE Single Technology Appraisal
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) invited the manufacturer of alitretinoin (Basilea Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Basel, Switzerland) to submit evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of this drug for the treatment of patients with severe chronic hand eczema (CHE), as part of the Institute’s single technology appraisal (STA) process. The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York were commissioned to act as the Evidence Review Group (ERG). This article provides a description of the company submission, the ERG review and NICE’s subsequent decisions.
The ERG produced a critical review of the evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of the technology based upon the manufacturer’s submission to NICE. The ERG also independently searched for relevant evidence and modified the manufacturer’s decision analytic model to examine the impact of altering some of the key assumptions.
The main clinical effectiveness data were derived from a single-placebo randomized controlled trial (RCT) of daily treatment with alitretinoin for 12–24 weeks, with follow-up for a further 24 weeks, in patients with severe CHE unresponsive to topical corticosteroids. A significantly greater proportion of patients achieved ‘clear’ or ‘almost clear’ hands by week 24 with alitretinoin than those using placebo: 48% with alitretinoin 30 mg (p < 0.001); 28% with alitretinoin 10 mg (p < 0.005); 17% with placebo. Most patients who responded remained in remission during the 24-week follow-up period. The most commonly reported adverse event was dose-dependent headache, with rates of 20% in the alitretinoin 30 mg group and 11 % in the alitretinoin 10 mg group, respectively. Serious adverse events were rare, although alitretinoin was associated with increases in both total cholesterol and triglycerides. No direct or indirect comparisons of alitretinoin with any of the relevant treatment comparators (psoralen + UVA [PUVA], ciclosporin or azathioprine) were available.
In the manufacturer’s original submission to NICE, the base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) reported for alitretinoin were £8614 per QALY versus ciclosporin, -£469 per QALY versus PUVA (with alitretinoin dominant) and £10 612 per QALY versus azathioprine (year 2007–8 values). In response to a request from the ERG, the manufacturers provided a revised model that compared alitretinoin only with placebo, for which the ICER was reported to be £12 931. However, the omission of adverse events entirely from this revised model, in combination with a number of other factors, led the ERG to conclude that the model underestimated the costs of treatment associated with alitretinoin. Estimates of health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) were the primary source of uncertainty, with the use of values from an alternative source producing ICERs of around £30 000 per QALY gained.
The ERG concluded that, although the evidence presented indicates that alitretinoin is efficacious in the treatment of severe CHE, it gives little indication of alitretinoin’s efficacy relative to likely alternative treatment options or its efficacy and safety in the longer term. Although the ICERs estimated by the manufacturer suggested that alitretinoin may be cost effective for use in the UK NHS, utilizing the alternative HR-QOL estimates resulted in a 2-fold increase in the ICER. Thus, there was considerable uncertainty as to the true ICER of alitretinoin versus the relevant treatment comparators. TheAppraisal Committee recommended that alitretinoin be provided to those patients with severe CHE and a Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score of at least 15. They recommended that treatment be stopped as soon as an adequate response was observed, or if CHE remained severe at 12 weeks, or if response was inadequate at 24 weeks.
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