Novartis responds to rival’s NICE endorsement

By Editor
29th July 2015
Diabetic retinopathy, Latest news

Novartis has responded to the NICE endorsement of a rival product from Bayer HealthCare by publishing a new health economic analysis report.

The health watchdog last week gave its backing for Bayer’s EYLEA® (aflibercept) solution for injection for the treatment of visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema (DMO).

This positive final decision means that people in England and Wales with DMO and a central retinal thickness of 400 micrometers or more will now have access to an additional effective treatment option that offers them a clearly defined treatment plan. The NHS in England and Wales has 90 days to implement this guidance.

Novartis then published data showing that ranibizumab (Lucentis®) provides greater health gains with lower overall costs than aflibercept in patients with visual impairment due to DMO in the UK.

The analysis published in the ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research concluded that lifetime costs per patient of treating DMO were £20,019 for ranibizumab PRN, £22,930 for ranibizumab Treat & Extend (T&E) and £25,859 for aflibercept 2mg every eight weeks after five initial monthly doses (2q8).

The net monetary benefit of treating with ranibizumab is £6,768 (PRN) and £3,934 (T&E) at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000/QALY.

Dr Dimitrios Georgiopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer at Novartis UK, said: “Ranibizumab label change to include T&E scheme gives ophthalmologists greater flexibility and means they can now extend treatment or monitoring intervals once maximum visual acuity is achieved and/or there are no signs of disease activity.”

DMO is a complication of diabetes and is a leading cause of visual impairment among the working-age population. More than 80,000 people in the UK live with DMO and it is expected to be a significant public health problem for the foreseeable future.

With a consequent reduction in quality of life and patients, people with visual impairment due to DMO can consume significantly more healthcare resources than diabetic patients without retinal complications.

Researchers used a Markov model to simulate the long-term outcomes and costs of treating DMO. Network meta-analysis comparisons were made between ranibizumab PRN, ranibizumab T&E and aflibercept, allowing conclusions to be made on the relative effectiveness of the relative regimens.

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