Novartis said Thursday that Cosentyx (Ingredient: secukinumab), its interleukin 17A inhibitor, proved to be cost-effective compared to the existing tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor Humira (Ingredient: adalimumab) as a first-line treatment in treating ankylosing spondylitis.
According to a study released by the company at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Reproductive Health Professionals conference last year, Cosentyx had an equivalent therapeutic effect as Humira while reducing overall medical costs.
Also, the first- and second-year treatment costs for patients who reached assessment in ankylosing spondylitis (ASAS) 20 and ASAS40 in Korea were consistently lower than those treated with Humira.
The 52 weeks treatment cost per patient for was 40 percent lower for patients treated with secukinumab with expenses amounting to about 10.4 million won ($9,420) for secukinumab and 17.4 million won for adalimumab. Regarding ASAS 40 patients, the cost was 46 percent lower with patients paying 13.1 million won for secukinumab and 24.2 million won for adalimumab.
In the patients with inductive dose, the treatment cost per person for secukinumab was lowered by 25 percent compared to the adalimumab group.
The study extracted the effects of the two drugs in treating ASAS20 and ASAS40 at 52 and 104 weeks through a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.
The company analyzed the cost per responder by calculating the value of medical care for one year or two years in local patients with ankylosing spondylitis who had no experience of biological treatment. Drug costs, drug prescription costs, and outpatient visits were the only considered factors in estimating drug costs.
“In Korea, patients with ankylosing spondylitis who require biologic treatment have to try TNF inhibitor treatment as a first-line treatment according to the current pay guideline,” said Professor Park Min-chan of the Department of Rheumatology at Gangnam Severance Hospital. “Only if their treatment fails, Cosentyx can be prescribed as a second-line treatment.”
However, considering the high-cost savings of Cosentyx as a result of this study, the early use of Cosentyx in patients who have not been treated with biological agents suggests a more economical and efficient treatment option for patients, Park added.