Document Type



Background: Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves symptomatic improvement of cognition using cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) and memantine. The cost-effectiveness of these medications will guide decision-makers in making judicious use of scarce healthcare resources, particularly during the advanced disease stages.

Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of ChEIs, memantine, and ChEI-memantine combinations in persons with moderate-to-severe AD from the US healthcare perspective.

Methods: This pharmacoeconomic evaluation study used a state-transition Markov cohort model to simulate the costs and effectiveness of ChEI-memantine combinations compared with monotherapies of ChEI (donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine) and memantine in persons with moderate-to-severe AD over a lifetime horizon with a 1-year cycle length. We estimated expected quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs (in 2020 $US), net monetary benefits, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). We discounted future costs and QALYs at the rate of 3%.

Results: In this study, donepezil monotherapy, galantamine-memantine combination, and rivastigmine transdermal patch formed the cost-effectiveness frontier. Findings suggests that rivastigmine transdermal patch is the optimal treatment strategy at a willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $150,000/QALY (ICER = $93,307/QALY [versus donepezil monotherapy]). Results across subgroups by age and sex also suggest that the rivastigmine transdermal patch is the optimal treatment strategy with the highest net benefit.

Conclusion: From the US healthcare perspective, we found that, for persons with moderate-to-severe AD at a WTP threshold of $150,000/QALY, the rivastigmine transdermal patch is the most cost-effective pharmacological treatment option. Given that the transdermal patch is a preferred route of administration for persons with AD and their caregivers due to its convenience, our findings provide additional incentives for its use.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Yunusa, I., Alsahali, S., Rane, A., & Eguale, T. (2021). Comparative value of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine in persons with moderate-to-severe alzheimer’s disease in the United States: A cost-effectiveness analysis1. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, 5(1), 705–713.


©2023 IOS Press All rights reserved