Cost-Effectiveness of First-Line Sevelamer and Lanthanum versus Calcium-Based Binders for Hyperphosphatemia of Chronic Kidney Disease

Habbous S, Przech S, Martin J, Garg AX, Sarma S.
Value Health. 2018 Mar;21(3):318-325. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2017.08.3020. Epub 2017 Oct 18.


Phosphate binders are used to treat hyperphosphatemia among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

To conduct an economic evaluation comparing calcium-free binders sevelamer and lanthanum with calcium-based binders for patients with CKD.

Effectiveness data were obtained from a recent meta-analysis of randomized trials. Effectiveness was measured as life-years gained and translated to quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) using utility weights from the literature. A Markov model consisting of non-dialysis-dependent (NDD)-CKD, dialysis-dependent (DD)-CKD, and death was developed to estimate the incremental costs and effects of sevelamer and lanthanum versus those of calcium-based binders. A lifetime horizon was used and both costs and effects were discounted at 1.5%. All costs are presented in 2015 Canadian dollars from the Canadian public payer perspective. Results of probabilistic sensitivity analysis were presented using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. Sensitivity analyses were conducted for risk pooling methods, omission of dialysis costs, and persistence of drug effects on mortality.

Sevelamer resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $106,522/QALY for NDD-CKD and $133,847/QALY for DD-CKD cohorts. Excluding dialysis costs, sevelamer was cost-effective in the NDD-CKD cohort ($5,847/QALY) and the DD-CKD cohort ($11,178/QALY). Lanthanum was dominated regardless of whether dialysis costs were included.

Existing evidence does not clearly support the cost-effectiveness of non-calcium-containing phosphate binders (sevelamer and lanthanum) relative to calcium-containing phosphate binders in DD-CKD patients. Our study suggests that sevelamer may be cost-effective before dialysis onset. Because of the remaining uncertainty in several clinically relevant outcomes over time in DD-CKD and NDD-CKD patients, further research is encouraged.

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