Cost-effectiveness analysis of tropisetron vs. chlorpromazine-dexamethasone in the control of acute emesis induced by highly emetogenic chemotherapy in children

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Abstract

Objective

To perform a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) between a standard antiemetic regimen -chlorpromazine + dexamethasone (CPM-DEX)- and a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist -tropisetron (TROP)- in the control of acute emesis induced by highly emetogenic chemotherapy in children, considering two analytic perspectives: hospital and patients.

Methods

The CEA was performed by constructing a decision tree, for both analytic perspectives, of the possible outcomes of treatment with TROP (single 0.2 mg/kg i.v.) or CPM (5-15 mg i.v. infusion for 3 doses) plus DEX (2 mg/m2 i.v. bolus i.v. × 2). The patients were stratified by age in two groups (2-12 and 13-17). To estimate the probability of each endpoint at the decision tree we have taken as a base a trial developed in the Department of Pediatrics. Direct medical cost of primary therapy, failure, complications and side effects were included in the cost calculations.

Results

From patients' analytic perspective, TROP was more cost-effective than CPM-DEX for both groups of patients. Discrepancy between both analytic perspectives in 13-17 year-old patient's group was resolved in favour of the option chosen from the patients' analytic perspective (TROP). Sensitivity analysis showed the reliability of the results.

Conclusions

1. TROP was more cost-effective than CPM-DEX. 2. Taking into account the patients' analytic perspective is essential when we compare antiemetics pharmacoeconomically. 3. It seems necessary to increase the effectiveness of TROP in pediatric patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy with strategies such as the addition of a steroid.

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