Background: To conduct a real-word-study-based cost-effectiveness analysis of a GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) versus insulin among type 2 diabetes patients requiring intensified injection therapy and a systematic review of cost-effectiveness studies of GLP-1RAs versus insulin. Methods: Individual-level analyses incorporating real-world effectiveness and cost data were conducted for a cohort of 1022 propensity-score-matched pairs of GLP-1RA and insulin users from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, 2007–2016. Study outcomes included the number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one case of clinical events, healthcare costs, and cost per case of event prevented. Costs were in 2019 US dollars. Analyses were performed from a third-party payer and healthcare sector perspectives. Structured systematic review procedures were conducted to synthesize updated evidence on the cost-effectiveness of GLP-1RAs versus insulin. Results: Over a mean follow-up of 2.3 years, the NNT using a GLP-1RA versus insulin to prevent one case of all-cause mortality and hospitalized hypoglycemia was 57 and 30, respectively. Using GLP-1RAs instead of insulin cost US$54,851 and US$29,115 per case of all-cause mortality and hospitalized hypoglycemia prevented, respectively, from the payer perspective, and saved US$19,391 and US$10,293, respectively, from the healthcare sector perspective. Sensitivity analyses showed that the probability of using GLP-1RAs versus insulin being cost-effective for preventing one case of all-cause mortality or hospitalized hypoglycemia ranged from 60 to 100%. The systematic review revealed a cost-effective profile of using GLP-1RAs versus insulin. Conclusions: Using GLP-1RAs versus insulin for type 2 diabetes patients requiring intensified injection therapy in clinical practice is cost-effective.
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