Multiple sclerosis relapse rates and healthcare costs of two versions of glatiramer acetate

Benjamin Greenberg, Steven Hall, Michael Grabner, Sanjeev Balu, Xian Zhang, Daniel Kantor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare relapse rates and healthcare costs in MS patients treated with Glatopa 20 mg (generic glatiramer acetate) versus Copaxone 20 mg in a US managed care population. Methods: A retrospective claims study was conducted using the HealthCore Integrated Research Database. Patients with ≥1 Glatopa or Copaxone claim between 01 April 2015 (Glatopa) or 01 January 2013 (Copaxone) and 30 April 2018 were included. Patients with prior Copaxone 40 mg use or <1 year continuous health plan enrollment were excluded. Patients who switched from Glatopa to Copaxone were censored. Glatopa users were matched to Copaxone users, and outcomes measured at 6–12 months follow-up. Results: A total of 357 Glatopa and 2291 Copaxone patients qualified for inclusion; 158 per cohort were retained after matching. Baseline characteristics were well-balanced (mean age 49.9 years, 75% female, mean 3.8 Copaxone fills). At baseline, 8% of patients had ≥1 relapse with mean annualized relapse rates (ARR) of 0.18; at follow-up, the relapse rates were 8% versus 15% (Glatopa versus Copaxone; p =.05), and ARRs were 0.12 versus 0.30 (p =.05). 45% of Glatopa patients switched (back) to Copaxone 20/40 mg and were censored at that point. Mean (SD) all-cause medical and pharmacy costs were $51,507 ($28,494) versus $55,085 ($37,061; p =.50). Mean MS-related costs were $45,379 ($24,732) versus $47,949 ($32,615; p =.67), of which mean disease modifying therapy costs were $42,926 ($23,196) versus $44,932 ($28,554; p =.59). Results were similar in sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: In this real-world study, MS patients treated with Glatopa experienced similar health outcomes and costs compared to those treated with Copaxone, with a trend towards lower relapse rates (borderline statistically significant) and cost savings (not statistically significant).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1175
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • MS relapse rates
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • claims analysis
  • glatiramer acetate
  • healthcare costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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