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Economic evaluation of everolimus and mycophenolate mofetil versus azathioprine in de novo heart transplantation.

Author(s): Annemans L, Lemkuhl H, Tenderich G, Schulz U, Yang XL, Ricci JF, Hetzer R

Affiliation(s): Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Publication date & source: 2007-12, Transplant Proc., 39(10):3306-12.

Both the proliferation signal inhibitor everolimus (1.5 mg/day) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (3 g/day) have shown superior efficacy versus azathioprine in de novo heart transplantation. The cost-effectiveness of everolimus and MMF versus azathioprine was assessed to 6 months posttransplantation. METHODS: The evaluation was performed from the German health insurance payer perspective. The composite efficacy endpoint in the everolimus trial was death, graft loss/retransplantation, biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) grade >/=3A, rejection with hemodynamic compromise, and loss to follow-up. The composite endpoint in the MMF trial included only death, retransplantation, and BPAR with hemodynamic compromise. To mimic the everolimus endpoint, an estimated number of patients with BPAR >/=3A was added to the MMF trial results, using two mapping scenarios. RESULTS: The incremental 6-month cost versus azathioprine was euro2535 for everolimus and euro3007 for MMF. The absolute reduction in efficacy failure versus azathioprine was 10.4% for everolimus and 9.8% and 10.1% for MMF, respectively, using scenarios 1 and 2. The incremental cost per efficacy failure avoided (ie, the incremental cost versus azathioprine divided by the reduction in efficacy failure) was euro24,457 for everolimus, and euro30,628 and euro29,912 for MMF in scenarios 1 and 2. CONCLUSION: This analysis, based on findings from two clinical trials, suggested that everolimus was more cost-effective than MMF versus azathioprine in the first 6 months after heart transplantation. Data from a head-to-head trial are required to confirm these results.

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