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Title: A cost-utility analysis of drug treatments in patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B in Thailand
Authors: Narisa Tantai
Usa Chaikledkaew
Tawesak Tanwandee
Pitsaphun Werayingyong
Yot Teerawattananon
Mahidol University. Faculty of Pharmacy. Social and Administrative Pharmacy Excellence Research (SAPER) Unit
Mahidol University. Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital. Department of Pharmacy
Mahidol University. Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital. Division of Gastroenterology
Keywords: Chronic disease;Hepatitis B;Cost-utility analysis;Treatment;Open Access article
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: BMC Health Services Research. Vol. 14, (2014),170
Abstract: Background: Only lamivudine has been included for patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in the National List of Essential Drugs (NLED), a pharmaceutical reimbursement list in Thailand. There have also been no economic evaluation studies of CHB drug treatments conducted in Thailand yet. In order to fill this gap in policy research, the objective of this study was to compare the cost-utility of each drug therapy (Figure 1) with palliative care in patients with HBeAg-positive CHB. Methods: A cost-utility analysis using an economic evaluation model was performed to compare each drug treatment for HBeAg-positive CHB patients. A Markov model was used to estimate the relevant costs and health outcomes during a lifetime horizon based on a societal perspective. Direct medical costs, direct non-medical costs, and indirect costs were included, and health outcomes were denoted in life years (LYs) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The results were presented as an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) in Thai baht (THB) per LY or QALY gained. One-way sensitivity and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were applied to investigate the effects of model parameter uncertainties. Results: The ICER values of providing generic lamivudine with the addition of tenofovir when drug resistance occurred, generic lamivudine with the addition of tenofovir based on the road map guideline, and tenofovir monotherapy were -14,000 (USD -467), -8,000 (USD -267) , and -5,000 (USD -167) THB per QALY gained, respectively. However, when taking into account all parameter uncertainties in the model, providing generic lamivudine with the addition of tenofovir when drug resistance occurred (78% and 75%) and tenofovir monotherapy (18% and 24%) would yield higher probabilities of being cost-effective at the societal willingness to pay thresholds of 100,000 (USD 3,333) and 300,000 (USD 10,000) THB per QALY gained in Thailand, respectively. Conclusions: Based on the policy recommendations from this study, the Thai government decided to include tenofovir into the NLED in addition to generic lamivudine which is already on the list. Moreover, the results have shown that the preferred treatment regimen involves using generic lamivudine as the first-line drug with tenofovir added if drug resistance occurs in HBeAg-positive CHB patients.
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