Five-Year Cost-effectiveness of Intravitreous Ranibizumab Therapy vs Panretinal Photocoagulation for Treating Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Date Published:

2019 Oct 24


Importance: The DRCR Retina Network Protocol S randomized clinical trial suggested that the mean visual acuity of eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) treated with ranibizumab is not worse at 5 years than that of eyes treated with panretinal photocoagulation (PRP). Moreover, the ranibizumab group had fewer new cases of diabetic macular edema (DME) with vision loss or vitrectomy but had 4 times the number of injections and 3 times the number of visits. Although 2-year cost-effectiveness results of Protocol S were previously identified, incorporating 5-year data from Protocol S could alter the longer-term cost-effectiveness of the treatment strategies from the perspective of the health care system. Objective: To evaluate 5- and 10-year cost-effectiveness of therapy with ranibizumab, 0.5 mg, compared with PRP for treating PDR. Design, Setting, and Participants: A preplanned secondary analysis of the Protocol S randomized clinical trial using efficacy, safety, and resource utilization data through 5 years of follow-up for 213 adults diagnosed with PDR and simulating results through 10 years. Interventions: Intravitreous ranibizumab, 0.5 mg, at baseline and as frequently as every 4 weeks based on a structured retreatment protocol vs PRP at baseline for PDR; eyes in both groups could receive ranibizumab for concomitant DME with vision loss. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of ranibizumab therapy compared with PRP were evaluated for those with and without center-involved DME (CI-DME) and vision loss (Snellen equivalent, 20/32 or worse) at baseline. Results: The study included 213 adults with a mean (SD) age of 53 (12) years, of whom 92 (43%) were women and 155 (73%) were white. The ICER of the ranibizumab group compared with PRP for patients without CI-DME at baseline was $582 268 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) at 5 years and $742 202/QALY at 10 years. For patients with baseline CI-DME, ICERs were $65 576/QALY at 5 years and $63 930/QALY at 10 years. Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that during 5 to 10 years of treatment, ranibizumab, 0.5 mg, as given in the studied trial compared with PRP may be within the frequently cited range considered cost-effective in the United States for eyes presenting with PDR and vision-impairing CI-DME, but not for those with PDR but without vision-impairing CI-DME. Substantial reductions in anti-vascular endothelial growth factor cost may make the ranibizumab therapy cost-effective within this range even for patients without baseline CI-DME. Trial Registration: identifier: NCT01489189.

Last updated on 10/31/2019