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Ocrevus Less Expensive, More Efficient than Interferon

September 14, 2017

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is a less expensive treatment option for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) than subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (Rebif) in the long-run, according to a cost-effectiveness analysis published in the Journal of Medical Economics.

In addition to lower total costs over a 20-year period, the analysis suggested that Ocrevus allows patients to live longer with a better quality of life. The costs also were lower for Ocrevus for each life year lived, also when taking quality of life into consideration.

These findings might inform payers and policymakers as they make decisions about how to reimburse MS therapies, researchers said.

The study, “Cost-effectiveness analysis of ocrelizumab versus subcutaneous interferon beta-1a for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis,” was performed by Analysis Group in collaboration with Ocrevus developer Genentech.

Because Ocrevus has not been available long enough to do a retrospective cost-effectiveness analysis, researchers built a model using data from the two Phase 3 OPERA trials (NCT01247324 and NCT01412333) of relapsing MS, in which the drug was compared to interferon beta-1a. They also used previously published data to supplement information.

The model assumed that patients could be in any of 21 health states. These were made up of relapsing-remitting (RRMS) patients with a disability level of 0–9 using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS) with an EDSS score of 0–9, or death.

In each of the 20-year analyses, patients with RRMS could transition across EDSS scores, progress to SPMS, experience relapses, or die. Patients also could stop treatment, and the rate at which this happened was calculated using dropout rates from the OPERA trials. Patients were assumed untreated if they reached an EDSS score of 7 or beyond.
Out of all relapses, analysts assumed that 21 percent required hospitalization — a statistic based on earlier research.

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