Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is the most common form of inflammatory bowel disease in the UK. UC can have a considerable impact on patients' quality of life. The burden for the NHS is substantial.
Objectives: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of interventions, to evaluate the incremental cost-effectiveness of all interventions and comparators (including medical and surgical options), to estimate the expected net budget impact of each intervention, and to identify key research priorities.
Data sources: Peer-reviewed publications, European Public Assessment Reports and manufacturers' submissions. The following databases were searched from inception to December 2013 for clinical effectiveness searches and from inception to January 2014 for cost-effectiveness searches for published and unpublished research evidence: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, The Cochrane Library including the Cochrane Systematic Reviews Database, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, the Health Technology Assessment database and NHS Economic Evaluation Database; ISI Web of Science, including Science Citation Index, and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science and Bioscience Information Service Previews. The US Food and Drug Administration website and the European Medicines Agency website were also searched, as were research registers, conference proceedings and key journals.
Review methods: A systematic review [including network meta-analysis (NMA)] was conducted to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of named interventions. The health economic analysis included a review of published economic evaluations and the development of a de novo model.
Results: Ten randomised controlled trials were included in the systematic review. The trials suggest that adult patients receiving infliximab (IFX) [Remicade (R), Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd (MSD)], adalimumab (ADA) (Humira (R), AbbVie) or golimumab (GOL) (Simponi (R), MSD) were more likely to achieve clinical response and remission than those receiving placebo (PBO). Hospitalisation data were limited, but suggested more favourable outcomes for ADA- and IFX-treated patients. Data on the use of surgical intervention were sparse, with a potential benefit for intervention-treated patients. Data were available from one trial to support the use of IFX in paediatric patients. Safety issues identified included serious infections, malignancies and administration site reactions. Based on the NMA, in the induction phase, all biological treatments were associated with statistically significant beneficial effects relative to PBO, with the greatest effect associated with IFX. For patients in response following induction, all treatments except ADA and GOL 100 mg at 32-52 weeks were associated with beneficial effects when compared with PBO, although these were not significant. The greatest effects at 8-32 and 32-52 weeks were associated with 100 mg of GOL and 5 mg/kg of IFX, respectively. For patients in remission following induction, all treatments except ADA at 8-32 weeks and GOL 50 mg at 32-52 weeks were associated with beneficial effects when compared with PBO, although only the effect of ADA at 32-52 weeks was significant. The greatest effects were associated with GOL (at 8-32 weeks) and ADA (at 32-52 weeks). The economic analysis suggests that colectomy is expected to dominate drug therapies, but for some patients, colectomy may not be considered acceptable. In circumstances in which only drug options are considered, IFX and GOL are expected to be ruled out because of dominance, while the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for ADA versus conventional treatment is approximately 50,300 pound per QALY gained.
Limitations: The health economic model is subject to several limitations: uncertainty associated with extrapolating trial data over a lifetime horizon, the model does not consider explicit sequential pathways of non-biological treatments, and evidence relating to complications of colectomy was identified through consideration of approaches used within previous models rather than a full systematic review.
Conclusions: Adult patients receiving IFX, ADA or GOL were more likely to achieve clinical response and remission than those receiving PBO. Further data are required to conclusively demonstrate the effect of interventions on hospitalisation and surgical outcomes. The economic analysis indicates that colectomy is expected to dominate medical treatments for moderate to severe UC.