Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents for Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1 Infection Are Cost-Saving
AbstractBackground & Aims
Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are effective in treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection, but their cost and value have been debated. We performed a systematic review of published cost-effectiveness analyses of DAAs, synthesized their results with updated drug prices, and calculated the maximum price at which DAA therapy for HCV genotype 1 infection is cost-effective (increased quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs] and increased cost that the society is willing to pay) and cost-saving (increased QALYs and decreased costs).Methods
We conducted a systematic review of the PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane library, EconLit, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, Health Technology Assessment, and Tufts University databases for cost-effectiveness analyses published from 2011 through 2015. Our analysis included cost effectiveness of DAAs versus previous standard-of-care regimens (peginterferon and ribavirin, boceprevir and telaprevir), or no treatment, performed for patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. We excluded studies that were not written in English or those that did not report QALYs. Reported incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and treatment costs for each comparison were extracted; the threshold price was estimated for each analysis in which regimens were found to be cost-effective (ICER ≤$100,000/QALY) or cost-saving (ICER <$0), those that decreased costs and increased QALYs.Results
We identified 24 cost-effectiveness studies that reported 170 ICERs for combinations of 11 drugs, from 11 countries. Of those, 81 ICERs were determined for first-generation DAAs (boceprevir and telaprevir) and 89 ICERs were determined for second-generation DAAs (drugs approved after the first-generation DAAs) as a primary intervention. The median threshold prices at which first-generation and second-generation DAAs became cost-effective were estimated as $120,100 (interquartile range, $90,700–$176,800) and $227,200 (interquartile range, $142,800–$355,800), respectively. At the discounted price of $60,000, a total of 71% of the analyses found second-generation DAAs to be cost-saving and 22% to be cost-effective.Conclusions
In a systematic review, we found treatment of HCV genotype 1 infection with second-generation DAAs to be cost-effective when they cost less than and $227,200; these drugs produced cost savings at current discounts.