Repository logo

Novel oral iron therapy for iron deficiency anaemia: How to value safety in a new drug?

Published version

Thumbnail Image



Change log


Aims: Novel oral iron supplements may be associated with a reduced incidence of adverse drug reactions compared to standard treatments of iron deficiency anaemia. The aim was to establish their value‐based price under conditions of uncertainty surrounding their tolerability. Methods: A discrete‐time Markov model was developed to assess the value‐based price of oral iron preparations based on their incremental cost per quality‐adjusted life year (QALY) gained from the perspective of the NHS in the UK. Primary and secondary care resource use and health state occupancy probabilities were estimated from routine electronic health records; and unit costs and health state utilities were derived from published sources. Patients were pre‐menopausal women with iron deficiency anaemia who were prescribed oral iron supplementation between 2000 and 2014. Results: The model reflecting current use of iron salts yielded a mean total cost to the NHS of £779, and 0.84 QALYs over 12 months. If a new iron preparation were to reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions by 30–40%, then its value‐based price, based on a threshold of £20 000 per QALY, would be in the region of £10–£13 per month, or about 7–9 times the average price of basic iron salts. Conclusions: There are no adequate, direct comparisons of new oral iron supplements to ferrous iron salts, and therefore other approaches are needed to assess their value. Our modelling shows that they are potentially cost‐effective at prices that are an order of magnitude higher than existing iron salts.



ORIGINAL ARTICLE, ORIGINAL ARTICLES, cost and cost analysis, cost‐effectiveness, iron, iron‐deficiency anaemia

Journal Title

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title