About this Journal


Article Abstract

Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 13, Issue 1, 2010. Pages: 27-35
Published Online: 30 March 2010

Copyright © 2010 ICMPE.


 

Economic Outcomes of Eszopiclone Treatment in Insomnia and Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder

Sonya J. Snedecor,1 Marc F. Botteman,2 Kendyl Schaefer,3 Phillip Sarocco,4 Nadine Barry,5 A. Simon Pickard6

1Ph.D., Pharmerit North America LLC, Bethesda, MD, USA
2M.Sc., M.A., Pharmerit North America LLC, Bethesda, MD, USA
3M.Sc., Sepracor Inc., Marlborough, MA, USA
4R.Ph., M.Sc., Sepracor Inc., Marlborough, MA, USA
5B.S.N., Sepracor Inc., Marlborough, MA, USA
6Ph.D., Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

* Correspondence to: Marc F. Botteman, Pharmerit North America LLC, 4350 East-West Highway, Suite 430, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
Tel.: +1-240-821 1289
Fax: +1-240-821 1296
E-mail: mbotteman@pharmerit.com

Source of Funding: SJ Snedecor and MF Botteman are with Pharmerit North America LLC, which received financial support from Sepracor Inc., the manufacturer of eszopiclone, to conduct this study. P. Sarocco, K. Schaefer, and N. Barry are employees of Sepracor Inc. A. Simon Pickard served as a paid independent consultant to Pharmerit.

Abstract

Eszopiclone has been shown effective for the treatment of insomnia in patients with insomnia and comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD). This analysis examines the economic costs and benefits of eszopiclone co-administered with fluoxetine (ESZ+FLX) compared to placebo co-administered with fluoxetine (PBO+FLX) in adults meeting the DSM-IV criteria for insomnia and MDD.  Data from patients enrolled in an 8-week clinical trial were used to determine the costs of medical care, time away from work, and the quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with each treatment. The mean 8-week increases in QALYs from baseline were 0.0392 and 0.0334 for the ESZ+FLX and PBO+FLX groups, respectively. Mean per-patient costs were $1,279 and $1,198. Thus, co-treatment resulted in an incremental cost per QALY gained of approximately $14,000. Co-administration of eszopiclone and fluoxetine improved patients’ insomnia symptoms and appeared to be a cost effective treatment strategy for patients with insomnia and comorbid MDD.

 

Background: Eszopiclone is effective for the treatment of insomnia in patients with insomnia and comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD). Both conditions impose significant economic burden, with the US societal cost of depression estimated at $50 billion annually.

Aims of the Study: The purpose of this analysis was to examine the costs and benefits of eszopiclone co-administered with fluoxetine (ESZ+FLX) compared to placebo co-administered with fluoxetine (PBO+FLX) in adults meeting the DSM-IV criteria for insomnia and MDD.

Methods: Data from 434 patients enrolled in an 8-week clinical trial who met the economic-subanalysis criteria were examined. The costs of medical care (in 2007 US$) and lost work time were estimated from the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D17) scores using published algorithms. Cost of lost productivity while at work was based on responses to the Work Limitations Questionnaire. The impact of therapy on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was estimated by transforming HAM-D17 (base case analysis) or Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) (scenario analyses) responses into health utility scores using published algorithms. Drug costs were estimated based on average wholesale price.

Results: The mean 8-week increases in QALYs from baseline were 0.0392 and 0.0334 for the ESZ+FLX and PBO+FLX groups, respectively. Mean per-patient costs were $1,279 and $1,198 for the respective groups. Thus, co-treatment resulted in net increases of 0.0058 QALYs and $81, leading to an incremental cost per QALY gained of approximately $14,000.

Discussion and Limitations: Co-administration of eszopiclone and fluoxetine improved patients' insomnia symptoms and appeared to be a cost-effective treatment strategy for patients with insomnia and comorbid MDD. One limitation of this study is that optimal utility estimation techniques were not available. Utilities were instead derived indirectly using the HAM-D17 (disease-specific, not generic) or SF-12 (generic, but potentially insensitive to important changes in some conditions) instruments.

Implications for Health Care Provision: Sleep disturbance is predictive of depression relapse, and is the most common residual symptom in patients who have been successfully treated with fluoxetine for depression. Thus, identifying cost-effective strategies for the treatment of insomnia symptoms is important for this patient population.

Implications for Health Policies: Treatment guidelines and drug coverage decisions should be based on clinical evidence, effectiveness, and economic criteria (i.e., whether an effective drug therapy produces sufficient benefits given its costs). This information about the overall value of eszopiclone can be measured as the cost per QALY gained with the use of ESZ+FLX compared with FLX alone. In order to make decisions based on value, payers and policy makers must have access to reliable cost-effectiveness information.

Implications for Further Research: The residual efficacy observed in the clinical trial following the discontinuation of co-therapy should be explored further to determine whether intermittent treatment with ESZ+FLX is a cost-effective strategy.


Received 12 March 2009; accepted 9 December 2009

Copyright 2010 ICMPE