A modelled economic evaluation comparing atomoxetine with methylphenidate in the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Spain

Jihyung Hong; Dilla, Tatiana; Arellano, Jorge
January 2009
BMC Psychiatry;2009, Vol. 9, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioural disorder, affecting 3-6% of school age children and adolescents in Spain. Methylphenidate (MPH), a mild stimulant, had long been the only approved medication available for ADHD children in Spain. Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant alternative in the treatment of ADHD with once-a-day oral dosing. This study aims to estimate the cost-effectiveness of atomoxetine compared to MPH. In addition, atomoxetine is compared to 'no medication' for patient populations who are ineligible for MPH (i.e. having stimulant-failure experience or co-morbidities precluding stimulant medication). Methods: An economic model with Markov processes was developed to estimate the costs and benefits of atomoxetine versus either MPH or 'no medication'. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was calculated for atomoxetine relative to the comparators. The Markov process incorporated 14 health states, representing a range of outcomes associated with treatment options. Utility values were obtained from the utility valuation survey of 83 parents of children with ADHD. The clinical data were based on a thorough review of controlled clinical trials and other clinical literature, and validated by international experts. Costs and outcomes were estimated using Monte Carlo simulation over a 1-year duration, with costs estimated from the perspective of the National Health Service in Spain. Results: For stimulant-naïve patients without contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained for atomoxetine were € 34 308 (compared to an immediate-release MPH) and € 24 310 (compared to an extended-release MPH). For those patients who have stimulant-failure experience or contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained of atomoxetine compared to 'no medication' were € 23 820 and € 23 323, respectively. Conclusion: The economic evaluation showed that atomoxetine is an effective alternative across a range of ADHD populations and offers value-for money in the treatment of ADHD.


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