Cost Effectiveness of Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes

Published in: PharmacoEconomics, 2015

Posted on on March 17, 2015

by Jinsong Geng, Hao Yu, Yiwei Mao, Peng Zhang, Yingyao Chen

Read More

Access further information on this document at PharmacoEconomics

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors are a new class of antidiabetic drugs used for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. While many studies have reported on the cost-effectiveness of DPP-4 inhibitors for treating type 2 diabetes, a systematic review of economic evaluations of DPP-4 inhibitors is currently lacking. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the cost effectiveness of DPP-4 inhibitors for patients with type 2 diabetes. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), Web of Science, EconLit databases, and the Cochrane Library were searched in November 2013. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS: Studies assessing the cost effectiveness of DPP-4 inhibitors for type 2 diabetes were eligible for analysis. DPP-4 inhibitor monotherapy or combinations with other antidiabetic agents were included in the review. The DPP-4 inhibitors were all marketed drugs. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles, abstracts, and articles sequentially to select studies for data abstraction based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: The quality of included studies was assessed according to the 24-item checklist of the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement. The costs reported by the included studies were converted to US dollars via purchasing power parities (PPP) in the year 2013 using the CCEMG-EPPI-Center Cost Converter. RESULTS: A total of 11 published studies were selected for inclusion; all were cost-utility analyses. Nine studies were conducted from a payer perspective and one used a societal perspective; however, the perspective of the other study was unclear. Four studies were of good quality, six were of moderate quality, and one was of low quality. Of the seven studies comparing DPP-4 inhibitors plus metformin with sulfonylureas plus metformin, six concluded that DPP-4 inhibitors were cost effective in patients with type 2 diabetes who were no longer adequately controlled by metformin monotherapy. Five studies compared DPP-4 inhibitors with thiazolidinediones, and whether DPP-4 inhibitors were cost effective was uncertain. Only two economic evaluations provided data to compare DPP-4 inhibitors versus insulin, and the results favored the use of DPP-4 inhibitors as second-line therapy. LIMITATIONS: Synthesis of the data was impossible because of heterogeneity in the methodology and data sources of the economic evaluations, and the inclusion criteria excluded conference abstracts. It was difficult to find reliable weightings for each of the items of the CHEERS checklist, and the ratings were dichotomous. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF KEY FINDINGS: This study provides the first systematic evaluation of DPP-4 inhibitors for patients with type 2 diabetes. It found that, in patients with type 2 diabetes who do not achieve glycemic targets with antidiabetic monotherapy, DPP-4 inhibitors as add-on treatment may represent a cost-effective option compared with sulfonylureas and insulin. However, high-quality cost-effectiveness analyses that utilize long-term follow-up data and have no conflicts of interest are still needed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.