Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences & UBC Division of Respiratory Medicine
Respiratory Evaluation Sciences Program

Research Theme Asthma

Cost-effectiveness of budesonide-formoterol vs inhaled epinephrine in US adults with mild asthma

Background: The management of mild asthma has lacked an over-the-counter (OTC) option aside from inhaled epinephrine, which is available in the United States. However, inhaled epinephrine use without an inhaled corticosteroid may increase the risk of asthma death.

Objective: To compare the cost-effectiveness of OTC as-needed budesonide-formoterol as a plausible alternative to inhaled epinephrine.

Methods: We developed a probabilistic Markov model to compare OTC as-needed budesonide-formoterol inhaler use vs inhaled epinephrine use in adults with mild asthma from a US societal perspective over a lifetime horizon, with a 3% annual discount rate (2022 US dollars). Inputs were derived from the SYmbicort Given as-needed in Mild Asthma (SYGMA) trials, published literature, and commercial costs. Outcomes were quality-adjusted life-years (QALY), costs, incremental net monetary benefit (INMB), severe asthma exacerbations, well-controlled asthma days, and asthma-related deaths. Microsimulation was used to evaluate underinsured Americans living with mild asthma (n = 5,250,000).

Results: Inhaled epinephrine was dominated (with lower QALYs gains at a higher cost) by both as-needed budesonide-formoterol (INMB, $15,541 at a willingness-to-pay of $100,000 per QALY) and the no-OTC inhaler option (INMB, $1023). Adults using as-needed budesonide-formoterol had 145 more well-controlled asthma days, 2.79 fewer severe exacerbations, and an absolute risk reduction of 0.23% for asthma-related death compared with inhaled epinephrine over a patient lifetime. As-needed budesonide-formoterol remained dominant in all sensitivity and scenario analyses, with a 100% probability of being cost-effective compared with inhaled epinephrine in probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

Conclusion: If made available, OTC as-needed budesonide-formoterol for treating mild asthma in underinsured adults without HCP management improves asthma outcomes, prevents fatalities, and is cost-saving.


Theme : Asthma

Emergency Procedures   |   Terms of Use   |   UBC Copyright   |   Accessibility