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The Journal of Headache and Pain

, 14:96

First Online: 11 December 2013Received: 29 September 2013Accepted: 02 December 2013


BackgroundThe present pharmacoeconomic study compared the direct and indirect costs of using frovatriptan versus rizatriptan in the acute treatment of migraine.

MethodsData on the cost-efficacy of the two triptans were derived from a recently published Italian, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, cross-over patient preference study, comparing frovatriptan versus rizatriptan. The direct costs were obtained by calculating the drug consumption, both of triptans and rescue medications. Prices of currently marketed drugs were obtained from Italian Drug Agency price list. The indirect costs were those related to absenteeism from the workplace due to migraine.

Results129 of the 148 patients with a current history of migraine randomized to the two study drugs and completing the study were analyzed. The number of attacks treated with only 1 dose of study drug was higher with frovatriptan 157 vs. 147, whereas the number of attacks treated with ≥2 doses of study medication was higher with rizatriptan 122 vs. 110 and 74 vs. 67, respectively. However, more patients treated with frovatriptan took a rescue medication 71 vs. 59. The total direct cost per attack including study drug rescue medication was 9.12 € for frovatriptan and 13.54 € for rizatriptan p < 0.05 between-treatments. As for indirect costs, in the group of patients treated with frovatriptan the mean number of lost working hours was significantly p < 0.05 lower 1.5 h compared to the subjects who used rizatriptan 2.8 h. Based on the earned income per unit of work, indirect costs per attack resulted to be 24.55 € for frovatriptan and 45.84 € for rizatriptan. Overall, the total costs, including direct and indirect costs, were evaluated to be 33.67 € for frovatriptan and 59.38 € for rizatriptan, respectively.

ConclusionsWithin the limitations of this model analysis, frovatriptan was found to be significantly more cost-effective than rizatriptan. This outcome can be explained by the lower acquisition cost of frovatriptan, the need for fewer doses, and the loss of fewer working hours. This finding could drive selection of the most appropriate oral treatment for acute migraine attacks based on both individual patient’s needs and the cost-effectiveness of the available drugs.

Trial registration2006-002572-17 EudraCT.

KeywordsMigraine Frovatriptan Rizatriptan Pharmacoeconomy Cost-effectiveness Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1129-2377-14-96 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Carlo Lisotto - Mario Guidotti - Dario Zava - Lidia Savi


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