Cost-effectiveness of biological agents used in ulcerative colitis

Jeannie K. Lee, Derek H. Tang, Lea Mollon, Edward P. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ulcerative colitis (UC) produces bloody diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, and need for clinic visits, hospitalizations, and surgeries. UC results in reduced health-related quality of life for patients and large direct medical and indirect costs for health systems and employers. Patients with the most severe disease require the most medical services, and these patients have larger costs than patients with mild or moderate disease. Despite biological therapies being quite expensive, they are indicated for patients unresponsive to initial standard therapies. Future hospitalizations may be reduced by starting a biological treatment. Cost-effectiveness results vary between countries, health systems, and model designs. Since restorative proctocolectomy can be curative, this surgery dominates biological therapy by being both less costly and more effective when measuring health system costs and patient qualityadjusted life years for 20 years. However the dose, duration, and effectiveness of biological treatments significantly impact estimates of their cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-960
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Biologics
  • Cost
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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