Objective: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, degenerative neuromuscular disease characterised by a progressive loss of voluntary motor activity. Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I) has been shown to be useful in treating ALS. The purpose of this study was to examine the cost effectiveness of rhIGF-I therapy in patients who have ALS.
Design: We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis from the societal perspective on 177 patients who received treatment with rhIGF-I or placebo in a North American randomised clinical trial. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of rhIGF-I using resource utilisation and functional status measurements from the clinical trial. Costs were estimated from 1996 US Medicare reimbursement schedules. Utility weights were elicited from ALS healthcare providers using the standard gamble technique.
Main outcome measures and results: The overall cost per quality-adjusted lifeyear (QALY) gained for rhIGF-I therapy compared with placebo was $US67 440. For the subgroups of patients who were progressing rapidly or were in earlier stages of disease at enrolment, rhIGF-I cost $US52 823 and $US43 197 per QALY gained, respectively.
Conclusions: Treatment with rhIGF-I is most cost effective in ALS patients who are either in earlier stages of the disease or progressing rapidly. The cost effectiveness of rhIGF-I therapy compares favourably with treatments for other chronic progressive diseases.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Adis International Limited Utility Weight Hospice Care Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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