Objectives: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare genetic disease with no cure. Until recently, treatment has targeted symptoms of the disease and not the disease-causing genetic defect. Ivacaftor is included in a new class of breakthrough drugs targeting the genetic defects of CF. We sought to estimate the long-term cost-effectiveness of ivacaftor from a US payer perspective. Methods: We developed an individual-level microsimulation model that followed a cohort of heterogeneous US CF patients over a lifetime. The primary outcome of interest was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). We also compared unadjusted life years, count of acute pulmonary exacerbations, and count of lung transplants over a lifetime between patients treated with ivacaftor plus best supportive care and patients treated with best supportive care alone. We conducted one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses to test the impact of various model inputs and uncertainties. Results: We found a substantial increase in QALYs, life years, and treatment costs over a lifetime for patients treated with ivacaftor plus best supportive care versus best supportive care alone. Discounted results for ivacaftor were 22.92 QALYs and $8 797 840 in total lifetime costs compared to 16.12 QALYs and $2 336 366 lifetime costs for best supportive care alone. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were $950 217 per QALY. Results from the probabilistic sensitivity analysis indicated a 0% chance that ivacaftor was cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $500 000 per QALY. Conclusions: Treatment with ivacaftor plus best supportive care versus best supportive care alone is not cost-effective at or near commonly accepted WTP thresholds.
- cost-effectiveness, cystic fibrosis, ivacaftor, microsimulation model, percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (ppFEV)