Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Psychiatry and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A modelled economic evaluation comparing atomoxetine with methylphenidate in the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Spain

Jihyung Hong12*, Tatiana Dilla3 and Jorge Arellano2

Author Affiliations

1 LSE Health, London School of Economics, London, UK

2 Eli Lilly and Company, Windlesham, UK

3 Eli Lilly and Company, S.A, Alcobendas (Madrid), Spain

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:15  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-15

Published: 14 April 2009

Abstract

Background

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioural disorder, affecting 3–6% of school age children and adolescents in Spain. Methylphenidate (MPH), a mild stimulant, had long been the only approved medication available for ADHD children in Spain. Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant alternative in the treatment of ADHD with once-a-day oral dosing. This study aims to estimate the cost-effectiveness of atomoxetine compared to MPH. In addition, atomoxetine is compared to 'no medication' for patient populations who are ineligible for MPH (i.e. having stimulant-failure experience or co-morbidities precluding stimulant medication).

Methods

An economic model with Markov processes was developed to estimate the costs and benefits of atomoxetine versus either MPH or 'no medication'. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was calculated for atomoxetine relative to the comparators. The Markov process incorporated 14 health states, representing a range of outcomes associated with treatment options. Utility values were obtained from the utility valuation survey of 83 parents of children with ADHD. The clinical data were based on a thorough review of controlled clinical trials and other clinical literature, and validated by international experts. Costs and outcomes were estimated using Monte Carlo simulation over a 1-year duration, with costs estimated from the perspective of the National Health Service in Spain.

Results

For stimulant-naïve patients without contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained for atomoxetine were € 34 308 (compared to an immediate-release MPH) and € 24 310 (compared to an extended-release MPH). For those patients who have stimulant-failure experience or contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained of atomoxetine compared to 'no medication' were € 23 820 and € 23 323, respectively.

Conclusion

The economic evaluation showed that atomoxetine is an effective alternative across a range of ADHD populations and offers value-for money in the treatment of ADHD.