Value Health. 2022 Feb 18:S1098-3015(22)00050-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2021.11.1378. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of remdesivir, the first novel therapeutic to receive Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and identify key drivers of value to guide future pricing and reimbursement efforts.
METHODS: A Markov model evaluated the cost-effectiveness of remdesivir in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from a US healthcare sector perspective. A lifetime time horizon captured potential long-term costs and outcomes. Model outcomes included discounted total costs, life-years, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Remdesivir was modeled as an addition to standard of care and compared with standard of care alone, including dexamethasone for patients requiring respiratory support. COVID-19 hospitalizations were assumed to be reimbursed through a single payment based on the respiratory support received alongside a remdesivir carveout payment in the base case. Sensitivity and scenario analyses identified key drivers.
RESULTS: At a unit price of $520 per vial and assuming no survival benefit with remdesivir, the incremental cost-effectiveness was $298 200/QALY for patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 and $1 847 000/QALY for patients with mild COVID-19. Although current data do not support a survival benefit, if one was assumed, the cost-effectiveness estimate was $50 100/QALY for the moderate to severe population and $103 400/QALY for the mild population. Another key driver included the hospitalization payment structure (per diem vs bundled payment).
CONCLUSIONS: With the current evidence available, remdesivir's price is too high to align with its expected health gains for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Results from this study provide a rationale for iterative health technology assessment.