BACKGROUND: In the Levodopa in EArly Parkinson's disease (LEAP) study, 445 patients were randomized to levodopa/carbidopa 100/25 mg three times per day for 80 weeks (early-start) or placebo for 40 weeks followed by levodopa/carbidopa 100/25 mg three times per day for 40 weeks (delayed-start). OBJECTIVE: This paper reports the results of the economic evaluation performed alongside the LEAP-study. METHODS: Early-start treatment was evaluated versus delayed-start treatment, in which the cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and the cost-utility analysis (CUA) were performed from the societal perspective, including health care costs among providers, non-reimbursable out-of-pocket expenses of patients, employer costs of sick leave, and lowered productivity while at work. The outcome measure for the CEA was the extra cost per unit decrease on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale 80 weeks after baseline. The outcome measure for the CUA was the extra costs per additional quality adjusted life year (QALY) during follow-up. RESULTS: 212 patients in the early-start and 219 patients in the delayed-start group reported use of health care resources. With savings of € 59 per patient (BCa 95% CI: -829, 788) in the early-start compared to the delayed-start group, societal costs were balanced. The early-start group showed a mean of 1.30 QALYs (BCa 95% CI: 1.26, 1.33) versus 1.30 QALYs (BCa 95% CI: 1.27, 1.33) for the delayed-start group. Because of this negligible difference, incremental cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratios were not calculated. CONCLUSION: From an economic point of view, this study suggests that early treatment with levodopa is not more expensive than delayed treatment with levodopa.
- Parkinson’s disease
- cost analysis