S Nayak 1, S L Greenspan 2
We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis comparing 5 versus 10 years of alendronate treatment prior to 5-year drug holiday for US postmenopausal women with hip BMD T-scores between – 2.5 and – 3.5. We found that for most postmenopausal women 5 years of treatment prior to drug holiday is the more effective and cost-effective option.
Introduction: We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis to compare 5 versus 10 years of alendronate treatment prior to 5-year drug holiday for postmenopausal osteoporotic women.
Methods: We created an individual-level state-transition microsimulation model to compare 3 treatment strategies for US postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and femoral neck BMD T-scores between – 2.5 and – 3.5 at baseline: recurrent periods of 5 years of alendronate followed by 5 years of drug holiday (alendronate 5/5), recurrent periods of 10 years of alendronate followed by 5 years of drug holiday (alendronate 10/5), and no alendronate treatment.
Results: Base-case analysis revealed for women initiating treatment at ages 50, 60, and 70, the alendronate 5/5 strategy dominated (was more effective and less costly than) the alendronate 10/5 strategy and no treatment. For women age 80, the alendronate 10/5 strategy dominated. When assuming a lower relative risk of nonvertebral fracture during years 6-10 of alendronate treatment than the base-case assumption, the alendronate 10/5 strategy became the most cost-effective strategy even at younger treatment initiation ages. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings; for treatment initiation ages of 50, 60, and 70, the alendronate 5/5 strategy was favored, whereas for treatment initiation age of 80, the alendronate 10/5 strategy was favored; however, there was uncertainty in these findings.
Conclusions: After 5 years of alendronate treatment, younger postmenopausal women (ages 50-70) with osteoporosis would likely benefit from a drug holiday, whereas older women (age 80) are likely to benefit from treatment for 10 years before a drug holiday.