Objectives: To assess the cost-effectiveness of various combinations of urate lowering therapy (ULT) and anti-inflammatory treatment in the management of newly diagnosed gout patients, from the Dutch societal perspective.
Methods: A probabilistic patient-level simulation estimating costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) comparing gout and hyperuricemia treatment strategies was performed. ULT options febuxostat, allopurinol and no ULT were considered. Flare treatments naproxen, colchicine, prednisone, and anakinra were considered. A Markov Model was constructed to simulate gout disease. Health states were no flare, and severe pain, mild pain, moderate pain, or no pain in the presence of a flare. Model input was derived from patient level clinical trial data, meta-analyses or from previously published health-economic evaluations. The results of probabilistic sensitivity analyses were presented using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and summarized using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs). Scenario analyses were performed.
Results: The ICER for allopurinol versus no ULT was €1,381, when combined with naproxen. Febuxostat yielded the highest utility, but also the highest costs (€4,385 vs. €4,063 for allopurinol), resulting in an ICER of €25,173 when compared to allopurinol. No ULT was not cost-effective, yielding the lowest utility. For the gout flare medications, comparable effects on utility were achieved. Combined with febuxostat, naproxen was the cheapest option (€4,404), and anakinra the most expensive (€4,651). The ICER of anakinra compared to naproxen was €818,504. Colchicine and prednisone were dominated by naproxen.
Conclusion: Allopurinol and febuxostat were both cost-effective compared to No ULT. Febuxostat was cost-effective in comparison with allopurinol at higher willingness-to-pay thresholds. For treating gout flares, colchicine, naproxen and prednisone offered comparable health economic implications, although naproxen was the favoured option.