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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 548157, 17 pages
Research Article

Florbetaben PET in the Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease: A Discrete Event Simulation to Explore Its Potential Value and Key Data Gaps

1United BioSource Corporation, Health Economics-Modeling and Simulation, 430 Bedford Street, Suite 300, Lexington, MA 02420, USA
2Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC) and VA Boston Healthcare System, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132, USA
3Division of Aging, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1620 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02120, USA
4Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA
5United BioSource Corporation, Biostatistics, 430 Bedford Street, Suite 300, Lexington, MA 02420, USA
6Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Global Market Access - General Medicine, 178 Müllerstraße, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Received 26 July 2012; Accepted 5 October 2012

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2012 Shien Guo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The growing understanding of the use of biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease (AD) may enable physicians to make more accurate and timely diagnoses. Florbetaben, a beta-amyloid tracer used with positron emission tomography (PET), is one of these diagnostic biomarkers. This analysis was undertaken to explore the potential value of florbetaben PET in the diagnosis of AD among patients with suspected dementia and to identify key data that are needed to further substantiate its value. A discrete event simulation was developed to conduct exploratory analyses from both US payer and societal perspectives. The model simulates the lifetime course of disease progression for individuals, evaluating the impact of their patient management from initial diagnostic work-up to final diagnosis. Model inputs were obtained from specific analyses of a large longitudinal dataset from the New England Veterans Healthcare System and supplemented with data from public data sources and assumptions. The analyses indicate that florbetaben PET has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs under certain scenarios. Key data on the use of florbetaben PET, such as its influence on time to confirmation of final diagnosis, treatment uptake, and treatment persistency, are unavailable and would be required to confirm its value.