Cost–effectiveness of raltegravir in HIV/AIDS

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Raltegravir is a first-in-class HIV-1 integrase inhibitor with established antiviral efficacy in treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 infection. In this article, we summarize pharmacoeconomic evaluations of raltegravir-based treatment regimens, compared with alternative therapies, in the treatment of patients with HIV infection and/or AIDS. Cost–effectiveness evaluations of raltegravir in treatment-experienced patients conducted using a continuous-time, state-transition Markov cohort model suggest that raltegravir, combined with optimized background therapy, falls within the range that would generally be considered cost effective compared with optimized therapy alone in Spanish, Swiss and UK health systems. In treatment-naive populations, raltegravir was evaluated using a three-stage continuous-time state-transition cohort model. Raltegravir-based initiation treatment strategies (first-line raltegravir) were compared with protease inhibitor and non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor initiation strategies, in which raltegravir was retained for salvage therapy. First-line raltegravir was cost-effective versus retaining raltegravir for salvage therapy in several European populations. A separate economic model was used to evaluate first-line raltegravir against two alternative initiation regimens representing standard clinical practice in Australia; raltegravir proved to be cost effective in both scenarios. In all studies examined, results were sensitive to factors including treatment duration, mortality rate, analytic time horizon, health utility weights, cost of raltegravir and optimized therapy, incidence of opportunistic infection and discount rates. Nonetheless, raltegravir remained cost effective under most scenarios.

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