• Journal Article

Savings in the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease in Canada: an analysis of treatment with rivastigmine

Citation

Hauber, A., Gnanasakthy, A., & Mauskopf, J. (2000). Savings in the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease in Canada: an analysis of treatment with rivastigmine. Clinical Therapeutics, 22(4), 439-451.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To estimate per-patient potential cost savings using rivastigmine in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in Canada. BACKGROUND: In recent years, new members of a class of pharmaceuticals known as cholinesterase inhibitors have been introduced for the treatment of patients with AD. Two recent studies conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States estimated potential cost savings from the new cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine. The present study combined the disease-progression model used in those 2 studies with Canadian costs to estimate per-patient potential savings resulting from the treatment of AD in Canada. METHODS: Efficacy data from 2 pivotal, phase III clinical trials of rivastigmine were used in a hazard model of disease progression to estimate long-term differences in cognitive functioning between patients receiving rivastigmine and patients receiving no treatment. We used the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score as our measure of disease progression. We also used Canadian costs of AD care, estimated as a function of MMSE score, to estimate cost savings experienced by treated patients compared with patients receiving no treatment. All costs and cost savings are presented in 1997 Canadian dollars. We used a societal perspective in this analysis. RESULTS: Rivastigmine was estimated to delay the transition to more severe stages of AD by up to 188 days for patients with mild AD after 2 years of treatment. For patients with mild-to-moderate and moderate disease, this delay was estimated to be 106 and 44 days, respectively. For patients with the mild stage of AD, estimated average daily cost savings (excluding the cost of rivastigmine) ranged from Can $0.45 per patient per day at 6 months to Can $6.44 per patient per day after 2 years of treatment. For all patients, these estimated average daily cost savings ranged from a low of Can $0.71 per patient per day after 6 months of treatment to a high of Can $4.93 per patient per day after 2 years. CONCLUSION: On average, treatment with rivastigmine yields savings in the direct cost of caring for AD patients that exceed the cost of the drug after 2 years of treatment