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AIMS: The Exenatide Study of Cardiovascular Event Lowering (EXSCEL) trial assessed once-weekly exenatide (EQW) vs. placebo, added to usual care in 14,752 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus ( NCT01144338). We assessed the lifetime cost-effectiveness of adding EQW vs. usual care alone from a healthcare perspective. METHODS: Medical resource use and EQ-5D utilities were collected throughout the study. Within-trial results were extrapolated to a lifetime horizon using the UK Prospective Diabetes Study Outcomes Model version 2 (UKPDS-OM2), predicting predict cardiovascular and microvascular events. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated separately for US and UK settings, with outcomes measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). RESULTS: EQW plus usual care gained 0.162 QALYs at an additional cost of $41,545/patient, compared with usual care in a US setting. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was $259,223/QALY. In a UK setting, the QALY gain was 0.151 at an additional cost of £6357: an ICER of £42,589/QALY. Sensitivity analyses ranged between $34,369-$269,571 and £3430-£46,560 per QALY gained. CONCLUSIONS: In a lifetime extrapolation, adding EQW to usual care increased QALYs and costs compared with usual care alone. The base-case ICERs exceeded the commonly-cited cost-effectiveness thresholds of $100,000/QALY and £20,000/QALY. However, ICERs were considerably lower in some subgroups, and in sensitivity analyses.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Res Clin Pract

Publication Date





Cost-effectiveness, Costs, Economic evaluation, Exenatide, Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Exenatide, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Prospective Studies, Quality-Adjusted Life Years