Cost-effectiveness analysis of entecavir versus lamivudine in the first-line treatment of Australian patients with chronic hepatitis B.Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2008; 6(4):231-46.AH
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) virus infection is a major global healthcare problem. The recent introduction of entecavir in Australia for the treatment of CHB patients in the naive treatment setting has triggered significant optimism with regards to improved clinical outcomes for CHB patients.
To estimate, from an Australian healthcare perspective, the cost effectiveness of entecavir 0.5 mg/day versus lamivudine 100 mg/day in the treatment of CHB patients naive to nucleos(t)ide therapy.
A cost-utility analysis to project the clinical and economic outcomes associated with CHB disease and treatment was conducted by developing two decision-tree models specific to hepatitis B e antigen-positive (HBeAg+ve) and HBeAg-ve CHB patient subsets. This analysis was constructed using the Australian payer perspective of direct costs and outcomes, with indirect medical costs and lost productivity not being included. The study population comprised a hypothetical cohort of 1000 antiviral treatment-naive CHB patients who received either entecavir 0.5 mg/day or lamivudine 100 mg/day at model entry. The population of patients used in this analysis was representative of those patients likely to receive initial antiviral therapy in clinical practice in Australia. The long-term cost effectiveness of entecavir compared with lamivudine in the first-line treatment of CHB patients was expressed as an incremental cost per life-year gained (LYG) or QALY gained.
Results revealed that the availability of entecavir 0.5 mg/day as part of the Australian hepatologist's treatment armamentarium should result in significantly lower future rates of compensated cirrhosis (CC), decompensated cirrhosis (DC), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) events (i.e. 54 fewer cases of CC, seven fewer cases of DC, and 20 fewer cases of HCC over the model's timeframe for HBeAg+ve CHB patients, and 69 fewer cases of CC, eight fewer cases of DC and 25 fewer cases of HCC over the model's timeframe for HBeAg-ve CHB patients). Compared with lamivudine 100 mg/day, entecavir 0.5 mg/day generated an estimated incremental cost per LYG of Australian dollars ($A, year 2006 values) 5046 and an estimated incremental cost per QALY of $A5952 in the HBeAg+ve CHB patient population, an estimated incremental cost per LYG of $A7063 and an estimated incremental cost per QALY of $A8003 in the HBeAg-ve CHB patient population, and an overall estimated incremental cost per LYG of $A5853 and an estimated incremental cost per QALY of $A6772 in the general CHB population.
The availability of entecavir in Australian clinical practice should make long-term suppression of hepatitis B virus replication increasingly attainable, resulting in fewer CHB sequelae, at an acceptable financial cost.