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Mepolizumab for Treating Severe Eosinophilic Asthma: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal.

Bermejo, Iñigo; Stevenson, Matt; Cooper, Katy; Harnan, Sue; Hamilton, Jean; Clowes, Mark; Carroll, Christopher; Harrison, Tim; Saha, Shironjit.
Pharmacoeconomics; 36(2): 131-144, 2018 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28933002


As part of its single technology appraisal (STA) process, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited the company (GlaxoSmithKline) that manufactures mepolizumab (Nucala®) to submit evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of mepolizumab for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma. The School of Health and Related Research Technology Appraisal Group (ScHARR-TAG) at the University of Sheffield was commissioned to act as the independent evidence review group (ERG). The ERG produced a review of the evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of mepolizumab as add-on to standard of care (SoC) compared with SoC and omalizumab, based upon the company's submission to NICE. The clinical-effectiveness evidence in the company's submission was based predominantly on three randomised controlled trials (DREAM, MENSA and SIRIUS) comparing add-on mepolizumab with placebo plus SoC. The relevant population was defined in terms of degree of asthma severity (four or more exacerbations in the previous year and/or dependency on maintenance oral corticosteroids [mOCS]) and degree of eosinophilia (a blood eosinophil count of ≥ 300 cells/µl in the previous year) based on post hoc subgroup analyses of the pivotal trials. Other subpopulations were considered throughout the appraisal, defined by different eosinophil measurements, number of exacerbations and dependency (or lack thereof) on mOCS. Statistically significant reductions in clinically significant exacerbations were observed in patients receiving mepolizumab compared with SoC meta-analysed across MENSA and DREAM in the modified intention-to-treat (ITT) population (rate ratio [RR] 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.42-0.62) as well as in the relevant population (RR 0.47; 95% CI 0.36-0.62). In terms of quality of life, differences on the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire in MENSA for add-on subcutaneous mepolizumab 100 mg vs. placebo were 7 and 7.5 units in the modified ITT and relevant populations, respectively. A number of issues in the clinical evidence base warrant caution in its interpretation. The ERG noted that the definition of SoC used in the trials differed from that in clinical practice, where patients with severe uncontrolled asthma start treatment with a mOCS. The company's economic post-consultation analysis incorporating a confidential patient access scheme (PAS) estimated that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for add-on mepolizumab compared with SoC was £27,418 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained in the relevant population if patients stopped mepolizumab after 1 year unless (1) the number of exacerbations decreased at least 50% or (2) a reduction in corticosteroids dose was achieved whilst maintaining asthma control. The ERG applied an age adjustment to all utilities and corrected the post-continuation assessment utilities, which resulted in an ICER for add-on mepolizumab compared with SoC of £29,163 per QALY gained. The ERG noted that this ICER was not robust for patients who continued treatment due to a corticosteroid dose reduction where exacerbations had decreased by less than 50%, because corticosteroid dose reduction was not allowed in the main trial in which the evidence was gathered (MENSA). The NICE appraisal committee (AC) concluded that add-on mepolizumab could be recommended as an option for treating severe refractory eosinophilic asthma in adults for the relevant population when the stopping rule suggested by the company was applied. The AC also concluded that the comparison between mepolizumab and omalizumab was not clinically relevant or methodologically robust.