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Most patients of knee osteoarthritis need a long-term medication, so the costs are very high. Therefore, it is much important to choose the rational treatment project.


To compare the cost-effectiveness of glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis and to perform the economic evaluation in order to present more effective and utility strategy to treat osteoarthritis.


Totally 78 outpatients with knee osteoarthritis were randomly divided into A group (n=39, treated with glucosamine hydrochloride) and B group (n=39, treated with glucosamine sulfate). The Western Ontario McMaster index as well as Lequesne pain and function index were observed at 3 and 6 weeks after treatment, and the cost-effectiveness analysis was performed with medical economical study.


Comparison of the curative effect of two groups after treatment: ①Total effective rates: the total efficiencies for the treatment of osteoarthritis in group A and group B at 3 weeks after treatment were 83.8% and 82.1% respectively (P > 0.05), and at 6 weeks after treatment, the total efficiencies were 91.9% and 90.7% respectively (P > 0.05); ②Cost-effectiveness analysis: the cost-effectiveness ratios in group A and group B at 3 weeks after treatment were 6.24 and 5.37 respectively, and at 6 weeks, the cost-effectiveness ratios were 11.38 and 9.70 individually. ③Sensitiveness analysis: effective sensitiveness degrees in the two groups at 3 weeks after treatment were 5.30 and 4.55, and at 6 weeks were 9.67 and 8.24 respectively. This shows that both glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate have the capacity to improve Western Ontario McMaster index and knee joint function of the patients with knee osteoarthritis markedly, but the cost-effectiveness ratio of glucosamine sulfate is better than that of glucosamine hydrochloride. Therefore, glucosamine sulfate costs less medical resources and gain more effectiveness.

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