A Systematic Review of the Economic Evaluations of Belimumab in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus



Systemic lupus erythematosus is a heterogeneous, multisystem autoimmune disease. These attributes cause lupus to be a challenging condition to adequately manage, which is further aggravated by the lack of treatment modalities. Belimumab is a full human monoclonal antibody, and its safety and efficacy in lupus management have been demonstrated in a number of randomized clinical trials. However, these gains come at a high cost in an era that is demarcated by soaring pharmaceutical expenditure. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to critically assess the economic evaluations of belimumab.


A systematic review was performed for economic evaluations of belimumab and the retrieved studies were assessed with the quality of health economic studies questionnaire.


A total of 3 studies and 5 abstracts were retrieved. Belimumab demonstrated a consistent favorable economic profile across Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Hong Kong, Canada, and Greece. The sensitivity analyses revealed that the effectiveness of treatment and the discontinuation rate had the greatest effect on the outcome.


Current data underscore a favorable cost-effectiveness ratio of belimumab in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. Results are consistent across Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Hong Kong, Canada, and Greece, countries for which an economic evaluation was available. Nevertheless, the low number of assessments, along with concerns regarding its long-term effectiveness, underpin areas that necessitate further research.


Panagiotis Petrou

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