Cost-Effectiveness of Vagus Nerve Stimulation with Anti-Seizure Medication Versus Anti-Seizure Medication Alone in the Management of Drug Resistant Epilepsy in England


Raspin C1, Shankar R2, Barion F3, Pollit V1, Murphy J4, Sawyer L5, Danielson V4
1Symmetron Ltd, London, UK, 2University of Plymouth Peninsula Medical School, Cornwall, UK, 3LivaNova PLC, Milan, Italy, 4LivaNova, London, UK, 5Symmetron Ltd, London, LON, UK

Presentation Documents

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) as an adjunctive therapy to anti-seizure medication (ASMs) when compared with a strategy of ASMs alone for the management of drug resistant epilepsy (DRE).

METHODS: A five health state cohort transition model was developed, with a 10-year time horizon, a 3-month cycle length and an English National Health Service perspective. Health states were defined by a percentage reduction in seizure frequency and aligned with randomised trial data informing the first cycle transition probabilities. Thereafter, non-VNS patients remained in state, while a systematic literature review informed further VNS patient transitions up to year 2, after which they remained in state (subject to death or device discontinuation). Extrapolation of registered VNS implant Kaplan-Meier data informed explantation and replacement probabilities. Health state utilities were age and gender adjusted. Published estimates, combined with trial data regarding mean seizure frequency, informed health state resource use. In addition to the base case analysis, scenarios, one-way deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were undertaken.

RESULTS: Adjunctive VNS has an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £17,711 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) when compared to a strategy of ASMs alone. Results were most sensitive to unit costs of inpatient care, with VNS expected to be dominant if the cost of a non-elective care admission exceeded £2,225. Using the UK National Institute of Health and Care Excellence threshold of £20,000 to £30,000 per QALY, VNS was cost-effective in the majority of scenarios evaluated, inclusive of varying the costs of device implantation, replacement and explantation by 15 percent.

CONCLUSIONS: Management of DRE with VNS is a cost-effective option in comparison to ASM therapy alone. This finding is driven by a reduced seizure frequency with VNS, which is consequently expected to improve a patient's health-related quality of life and reduce downstream medical costs.

Conference/Value in Health Info

2021-11, ISPOR Europe 2021, Copenhagen, Denmark

Value in Health, Volume 24, Issue 12, S2 (December 2021)




Economic Evaluation, Medical Technologies

Topic Subcategory

Cost-comparison, Effectiveness, Utility, Benefit Analysis, Medical Devices


Medical Devices, Neurological Disorders

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