Teriflunomide is a once-daily oral immunomodulatory agent approved in 80 countries for the treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS). The study objective was to estimate the cost effectiveness of teriflunomide (14 mg tablet, daily) versus interferon beta-1b (250 mcg subcutaneous injection, every other day) among RMS patients from the Chinese healthcare system perspective.
A Markov model with annual cycles and a lifetime horizon was utilized to assess cost-effectiveness of teriflunomide in comparison with interferon beta-1b in RMS patients. Treatment effects, including 3-month confirmed disability worsening and annualized relapse rate, were derived from a network meta-analysis. Cost inputs included costs related to treatment acquisition, administration, monitoring, natural disease management through Expanded Disability Status Scale states, relapse treatment, and adverse event management. These costs were calculated as the product between unit costs from published sources and healthcare resource utilization patterns identified in a survey conducted among 11 neurologists across different areas in China. Health effects were expressed as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) with costs in local currency (¥) and US dollars (US$), 2018.
Teriflunomide dominated interferon beta-1b and was associated with lower total costs (teriflunomide ¥1,887,144 vs interferon beta-1b ¥2,061,393) and higher QALYs (teriflunomide 9.60 QALYs vs interferon beta-1b 8.88 QALYs). In probabilistic sensitivity analysis, teriflunomide was dominant in 62.2% of model runs.
Teriflunomide is a cost-effective therapy over a lifetime time horizon compared to interferon beta-1b in the treatment of RMS patients in China. Results should be interpreted with caution as head-to-head comparisons are not available.