Moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis can be difficult and costly to treat. The long-term health and economic outcomes of a new therapy, dupilumab, have yet to be evaluated. We aimed to identify the cost-effectiveness of dupilumab compared to usual care in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.
We compared dupilumab to usual care with emollients for adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis inadequately controlled with topical therapy, or for whom topical therapies were medically inadvisable. Subpopulations of moderate and severe patients were examined separately. We used a lifetime Markov model from a US payer perspective with health states categorized by the percent decrease in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score after a patient began an intervention: at least a 50% decrease (EASI 50), 75% decrease (EASI 75), 90% decrease (EASI 90), or no response.
The expected lifetime cost for patients treated with dupilumab was $509,600, including $267,800 in dupilumab drug costs and $241,800 in other healthcare costs. Average lifetime cost for usual care was $271,500. Dupilumab provided an additional 1.91 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) over the remaining lifetime of a patient, leading to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $124,500. The ICER was lower for patients with severe atopic dermatitis ($95,800) than those with moderate atopic dermatitis ($160,000). Key drivers of the model were utility values for quality-of-life for non-responders, and the price of dupilumab.
This study was limited by data for health outcomes and costs over long time periods, particularly stratified by severity. We estimated that dupilumab improved health outcomes compared to usual care but with additional costs, with an ICER below commonly cited thresholds for cost-effectiveness. Dupilumab was projected to be more cost-effective in patients with severe atopic dermatitis, but even in patients with moderate atopic dermatitis, the ICER remained below the upper range of commonly cited thresholds.