Basu A, Dalal A, Canonica GW, Forshag M, Yancey SW, Nagar S, Bell CF. Economic analysis of the Phase III MENSA study evaluating mepolizumab for severe asthma with eosinophilic phenotype. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2017 Apr;17(2):121-31. doi: 10.1080/14737167.2017.1298444.

BACKGROUND: Severe eosinophilic asthma patients are at risk of exacerbations, which are associated with substantial costs. Mepolizumab lowers eosinophil levels and reduces exacerbation risk in severe eosinophilic asthma. We evaluated asthma-related exacerbation costs in mepolizumab-treated patients (versus placebo).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A within-trial economic analysis of the Mepolizumab as Adjunctive Therapy in Patients with Severe Asthma (MENSA) trial. Objectives were to quantify the incremental: (1) medical costs of asthma-related exacerbation; (2) asthma-related exacerbation emergency department visit/hospitalization costs; and (3) asthma-related total healthcare resource utilization.

RESULTS: Mean medical costs of asthma-related exacerbations at 8 months were $969, $852, and $1692 in the mepolizumab 75 mg intravenous (IV), mepolizumab 100 mg subcutaneous (SC), and placebo groups, respectively (p = 0.16). Mean medical costs from emergency department visits or hospitalizations due to asthma-related exacerbations were $901, $795, and $1557 in the mepolizumab 75 mg IV, mepolizumab 100 mg SC, and placebo groups (p = 0.020). Asthma-related healthcare resource utilization (all services) was lower for the mepolizumab groups versus placebo.

CONCLUSIONS: Adding mepolizumab to standard-of-care treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma lowered asthma exacerbation-related medical costs/healthcare resource utilization; although the cost savings ranged from $723-$840 per patient, differences were not statistically significant.

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