Cost-effectiveness of liraglutide versus lixisenatide as add-on therapies to basal insulin in type 2 diabetes

Ericsson Å, Glah D, Lorenzi M, Jansen JP & Fridhammar A

We assessed the cost-effectiveness of the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists liraglutide 1.8 mg and lixisenatide 20 μg (both added to basal insulin) in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Sweden.
The IHE Diabetes Cohort Model was used to compare liraglutide and lixisenatide (both added to basal insulin), with a societal perspective and with comparative treatment effects derived by indirect treatment comparison (ITC). Drug prices were 2016 values, and all other costs 2015 values. The cost-effectiveness of IDegLira (fixed-ratio combination of insulin degludec and liraglutide) versus lixisenatide plus basal insulin was also assessed, under different sets of assumptions.
From the ITC, decreases in HbA1c were –1.32% and –0.43% with liraglutide and lixisenatide, respectively; decreases in BMI were –1.29 and –0.65 kg/m2, respectively. An estimated 2348 cases of retinopathy, 265 of neuropathy and 991 of nephropathy would be avoided with liraglutide compared with lixisenatide in a cohort of 10,000 patients aged over 40 years. In the base-case analysis, total direct costs were higher with liraglutide than lixisenatide, but costs associated with complications were lower. The cost/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for liraglutide added to basal insulin was SEK30,802. Base-case findings were robust in sensitivity analyses, except when glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) differences for liraglutide added to basal insulin were abolished, suggesting these benefits were driving the cost/QALY. With liraglutide 1.2 mg instead of liraglutide 1.8 mg (adjusted for efficacy and cost), liraglutide added to basal insulin was dominant over lixisenatide 20μg.IDegLira was dominant versus lixisenatide plus basal insulin when a defined daily dose was used in the model.
The costs/QALY for liraglutide, 1.8 or 1.2 mg, added to basal insulin, and for IDegLira (all compared with lixisenatide 20 μg added to basal insulin) were below the threshold considered low by Swedish authorities. In some scenarios, liraglutide and IDegLira were cost-saving.

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PloS One, 2018;13(2):e0191953.