Within-Trial Evaluation of Medical Resources, Costs, and Quality of Life Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Participating in the Exenatide Study of Cardiovascular Event Lowering (EXSCEL)


To compare medical resource use, costs, and health utilities for 14,752 patients with type 2 diabetes who were randomized to once-weekly exenatide (EQW) or placebo in addition to usual diabetes care in the Exenatide Study of Cardiovascular Event Lowering (EXSCEL).


Medical resource use data and responses to the EuroQol 5-Dimension (EQ-5D) instrument were collected at baseline and throughout the trial. Medical resources and medications were assigned values by using U.S. Medicare payments and wholesale acquisition costs, respectively. Secondary analyses used English costs.


Patients were followed for an average of 3.3 years, during which time those randomized to EQW experienced 0.41 fewer inpatient days (7.05 vs. 7.46 days; relative rate ratio 0.91; P = 0.05). Rates of outpatient medical visits were similar, as were total inpatient and outpatient costs. Mean costs for nonstudy diabetes medications over the study period were ~$1,600 lower with EQW than with placebo (P = 0.01). Total within-study costs, excluding study medication, were lower in the EQW arm than in the placebo arm ($28,907 vs. $30,914; P ≤ 0.01). When including the estimated cost of EQW, total mean costs were significantly higher in the EQW group than in the placebo group ($42,697 vs. $30,914; P < 0.01). With English costs applied, mean total costs, including exenatide costs, were £1,670 higher in the EQW group than the placebo group (£10,874 vs. £9,204; P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in EQ-5D health utilities between arms over time.


Medical costs were lower in the EQW arm than the placebo arm, but total costs were significantly higher once the cost of branded exenatide was incorporated.

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