Ciclosporin compared with prednisolone therapy for patients with pyoderma gangrenosum: cost-effectiveness analysis of the STOP GAP trial*

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Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a painful, ulcerating skin disease with poor evidence for management. Prednisolone and ciclosporin are the most commonly used treatments, although not previously compared within a randomized controlled trial (RCT).


To compare the cost-effectiveness of ciclosporin and prednisolone-initiated treatment for patients with PG.


Quality of life (QoL, EuroQoL five dimensions three level questionnaire, EQ-5D-3L) and resource data were collected as part of the STOP GAP trial: a multicentre, parallel-group, observer-blind RCT. Within-trial analysis used bivariate regression of costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), with multiple imputation of missing data, informing a probabilistic assessment of incremental treatment cost-effectiveness from a health service perspective.


In the base case analysis, when compared with prednisolone, ciclosporin was cost-effective due to a reduction in costs [net cost: −£1160; 95% confidence interval (CI) −2991 to 672] and improvement in QoL (net QALYs: 0·055; 95% CI 0·018–0·093). However, this finding appears driven by a minority of patients with large lesions (≥ 20 cm2) (net cost: −£5310; 95% CI −9729 to −891; net QALYs: 0·077; 95% CI 0·004–0·151). The incremental cost-effectiveness of ciclosporin for the majority of patients with smaller lesions was £23 374/QALY, although the estimate is imprecise: the probability of being cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay of £20 000/QALY was 43%.


Consistent with the clinical findings of the STOP GAP trial, patients with small lesions should receive treatment guided by the side-effect profiles of the drugs and patient preference – neither strategy is clearly a preferred use of National Health Service resources. However, ciclosporin-initiated treatment may be more cost-effective for patients with large lesions.

What does this study add?

Linked Comment: Bray. Br J Dermatol 2017; 177:1475–1476.

What does this study add?

Plain language summary available online

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