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Oral serotonin receptor agonists: a review of their cost effectiveness in migraine.

Author(s): Lofland JH, Nash DB

Affiliation(s): Department of Health Policy and Clinical Outcomes, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA. jennifer.lofland@jefferson.edu

Publication date & source: 2005, Pharmacoeconomics., 23(3):259-74.

Publication type: Meta-Analysis; Review

Migraine headache is a highly prevalent chronic, episodic condition. The direct and indirect costs of migraine headache have a tremendous economic impact in the US. Research has shown that serotonin (5HT(1B/D)) receptor agonists reduce healthcare costs, improve health-related QOL (HR-QOL), decrease migraine disability and keep patients effective in the workplace. The purpose of this manuscript is to examine the cost effectiveness of oral 5HT(1B/D) receptor agonists for the treatment of migraine headache. In general, 5HT(1B/D) receptor agonists are associated with increases in direct healthcare costs; however, they are also associated with reductions in the indirect costs associated with migraine headache. Therefore, it appears that the relatively high acquisition cost of these medications is offset and, as a class, these medications appear to be cost effective and demonstrate net benefits from the societal perspective. Based on meta-analyses in which data on eletriptan were not available, it appears that within the class, almotriptan and rizatriptan are the most cost effective. In a prospective study comparing eletriptan with sumatriptan, it appears that the former may be more cost effective than the latter. Additional investigations are needed to further explore the application of the friction-cost approach and QALYs to cost-effectiveness analyses of this class of medication.

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