Sunday, 4 October 2015


Dorman E, Kansal AR, Sarda S. The budget impact of introducing delayed-release dimethyl fumarate for treatment of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis in Canada. J Med Econ. 2015:1-7. [Epub ahead of print

OBJECTIVE: Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes significant disability globally and is especially prevalent in Canada. Delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF; is an orally administered disease-modifying treatment (DMT) for patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) that is currently on the market in the US, Australia, Canada, and Europe. A budget impact model (BIM) was developed to assess the financial consequences of introducing DMF for treatment of RRMS in Canada.
METHODS: A BIM calculated the financial consequences of introducing DMF in Canada over 3 years based on RRMS prevalence, treatment market share, and clinical effects. RRMS prevalence in Canada was derived from published literature and natural relapse rates, and disease state distribution from clinical trial data. It was conservatively assumed that 100% of RRMS patients were treated with a DMT. DMF was assumed to absorb market share proportionally from the following current treatments: interferon beta-1a-IM, interferon beta-1a-SC, interferon beta-1b, and glatiramer acetate. Treatment efficacy, in terms of relapse rate reductions and treatment discontinuation rates, was determined from mixed treatment comparison. Treatment costs (including costs of acquisition, monitoring, and administration) and cost of relapse were considered. Deterministic one-way sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the most sensitive input parameters.
RESULTS: Over 3 years, the introduction of DMF resulted in an average annual increase of CAD417 per treated patient per year, with reductions in costs associated with relapses (CAD192/patient/year) partially offsetting increased drug acquisition costs (CAD602/patient/year). On a population level, the average annual cost increase was CAD24,654,237, a CAD 0.68 increase per population covered by the Canadian healthcare system. The main drivers of budget impact were drop-out rates, proportion of RRMS patients treated, and market share assumptions.
CONCLUSIONS:The acquisition costs of DMF for treatment of RRMS are predicted to be partially offset by reduced costs of relapses in the Canadian healthcare system.

The costs of MS are part of the sums that NICE play with during their assessment of cost effectiveness. If you have less relapses you will show better recovery.


  1. I am on Tecfidera and am in the USA. The cost is in the area of $5000 (US) a month (not that I pay that, if I had to I could not) insurance picks up most of it. Its a complex debate in the reasoning of costs. My last flare-up (before moving to Tecfidera) was pretty bad and Acthar was given. The bill came in for that, again, I did not pay it ins. did. Imagine my shock at seeing $38,000 for five injections.

    1. Whilst the individual may not pay Society does because the cost of the expensive drugs are passed on to the Insurance premiums.


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