Assessment of cost of innovation versus the value of health gains associated with treatment of chronic hepatitis C in the United States: The quality-adjusted cost of care

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Abstract

Background:

New direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy has dramatically increased cure rates for patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), but has also substantially raised treatment costs.

Aim:

The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the therapeutic benefit and net costs (i.e. efficiency frontier) and the quality-adjusted cost of care associated with the evolution of treatment regimens for patients with HCV genotype 1 in the United States.

Design:

A decision-analytic Markov model.

Data source:

Published literature and clinical trial data.

Time horizon:

Life Time.

Perspective:

Third-party payer.

Intervention:

This study compared four approved regimens in treatment-naïve genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients, including pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PR), first generation triple therapy (boceprevir + PR and telaprevir + PR), second generation triple therapy (sofosbuvir + PR and simeprevir + PR) and all-oral DAA regimens (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir and ombitasvir + paritaprevir/ritonavir + dasabuvir ± ribavirin).

Outcome measure:

Quality-adjusted cost of care (QACC). QACC was defined as the increase in treatment cost minus the increase in the patient's quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) when valued at $50,000 per QALY.

Results:

All-oral therapy improved the average sustained virologic response (SVR) rate to 96%, thereby offsetting the high drug acquisition cost of $85,714, which resulted in the highest benefit based on the efficiency frontier. Furthermore, while oral therapies increased HCV drug costs by $48,350, associated QALY gains decreased quality-adjusted cost of care by $14,120 compared to dual therapy. When the value of a QALY was varied from $100,000 to $300,000, the quality adjusted cost of care compared to dual therapy ranged from − $21,234 to − $107,861, − $89,007 to − $293,130, − $176,280 to − $500,599 for first generation triple, second generation triple, and all-oral therapies, respectively. Primary efficacy and safety measurements for drug regimens were sourced from clinical trials data rather than a real-world setting. Factors such as individual demographic characteristics, comorbidities and alcohol consumption of the individual patients treated may alter disease progression but were not captured in this analysis.

Conclusion:

New DAA treatments provide short-term and long-term clinical and economic value to society.

Primary funding source:

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

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