Background: Vedolizumab is a biologic drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) who have had inadequate response to, lost response to, or were intolerant of immunomodulators or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker therapy, or who had an inadequate response with, were intolerant to, or demonstrated dependence on corticosteroid therapy. The biologics approved by the FDA for CD and/or UC include adalimumab, infliximab, golimumab, certolizumab, and ustekinumab.
Objective: To assess the budget impact of including vedolizumab in a health plan formulary among current options as a preferred first-line biologic therapy for UC and CD rather than only for patients who failed anti-TNF therapy.
Methods: We developed a 3-year budget impact model for a 1-million-member health plan. Comparators included all currently approved brand-name biologic and biosimilar agents for the treatment of UC (ie, adalimumab, infliximab, and golimumab) and CD (ie, adalimumab, certolizumab, infliximab, and ustekinumab). Clinical inputs included therapy response probabilities, disease remission, and surgery risk. Given the lack of head-to-head clinical trials, we estimated indirect comparisons of treatment efficacy based on clinical trial data using the Bucher method. The drug and medical costs were obtained from published literature. The model compared hypothetical health plan costs for 2 scenarios-(1) a market mix with vedolizumab included on the formulary with currently existing first- and second-line preferred treatments, and (2) vedolizumab included only with existing preferred second-line treatments on the hypothetical formulary. These scenarios were compared in the context of 3 hypothetical health plan formulary cases.
Results: Including vedolizumab in a hypothetical formulary with currently preferred first-line biologic treatment options (Scenario 1) resulted in cost-savings compared with vedolizumab as a preferred second-line biologic option (Scenario 2). The total cost-savings were from $0.13 million to $1.63 million in year 1, and from $0.38 million to $4.68 million in year 3. The per-member per-month cost-savings were from $0.01 to $0.14 in year 1 and from $0.03 to $0.39 in year 3.
Conclusion: Based on our model's results, including vedolizumab among the current health plan formulary biologic options as a preferred first-line treatment for UC and CD can result in substantial cost-savings compared with including vedolizumab as a preferred second-line treatment only.