Interferon beta-1a in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Nicholson T, Stein K
Record ID 31998008895
Authors' objectives:

The authors consider the cost-effectiveness of interferon beta-1a (IFNB-1a) in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with placebo, and review the evidence for interferon beta-1b (IFNB-1b).

Authors' results and conclusions: IFNB-1a decreased the number of exacerbations by 15 per year for 100 patients treated. Information regarding the severity and duration of exacerbations was not available in the trial. QALYs calculations for IFNB-1b were not feasible, owing to potential measurement biases in the trial results and the lack of significant treatment effect on the more objective outcomes.
Authors' recommendations: The authors found the data inconclusive. They found the evidence for IFNB-1a inadequate owing to methodological limitations of the trial, and state that since trial patients did not self-inject it may not be possible to generalise the results to UK patients. The quantifiable benefits for IFNB-1a were small and, in terms of disability progression, clinically unimportant. The authors conclude that IFNB-1a is an expensive drug with small quantifiable benefits in terms of QALYs.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 1997
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Interferon-beta
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Recombinant Proteins
Organisation Name: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development
Contact Address: Pauline King. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Boldrewood Medical School, Bassett Crescent East, Highfield, Southampton. SO16 7PX Tel. +44 1703 595661 Fax +44 1703 595662
Copyright: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development (WIHRD)
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