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Antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients: a proposal to assess the economic value of the single-tablet regimen

Authors Colombo GL , Di Matteo S, Maggiolo F 

Received 9 October 2012

Accepted for publication 6 December 2012

Published 12 February 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 59—68


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Giorgio L Colombo,1,2 Sergio Di Matteo,2 Franco Maggiolo3

University of Pavia, Department of Drug Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Pavia, Italy, 2Studi Analisi Valutazioni Economiche, Milan, Italy, 3Division of Infectious Diseases, Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the economic value of a reduced number of pills in patients infected with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and on highly active antiretroviral therapy by a cost-effectiveness model.
Methods: An incremental cost-effectiveness analysis of efavirenz, tenofovir, and emtricitabine (TDF-FTC-EFV) as a single-tablet regimen versus a multipill regimen, with reference to untreated HIV-infected patients, was carried out from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service. The comparisons were performed with the help of a Markov decision model over a 10-year time horizon. Based on the ADONE (ADherence to ONE pill) study, it was then possible to identify the utility score increment in patients switching from a multipill regimen of TDF-FTC + EFV therapy to a single-tablet regimen.
Results: The single-tablet regimen (0.755 quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs]/year) resulted in better patient quality of life, with a higher number of QALYs than for the TDF-FTC + EFV multipill regimen (0.716 QALYs/year). The single-tablet regimen was the most cost-effective treatment strategy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €22,017.00 versus €26,558.00 for the multipill regimen. A 24% decrease in cost of the multipill regimen determined equivalence with the single-tablet regimen in terms of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Univariate sensitivity and probabilistic analysis carried out on the main variables did not highlight significant variations with respect to the base case scenario.
Conclusion: The single-tablet regimen resulted in better adherence, and therefore better quality of life as perceived by patients, corresponding to a €4541.00 lower cost-effectiveness ratio per QALY versus the multipill regimen, with a 17% lower cost in favor of the single-tablet regimen. The value determined could be used to identify a maximum potential "premium price" of 29% to be assigned to therapeutic regimens proposing a single-tablet regimen for HIV-infected patients.

Keywords: tenofovir, emtricitabine, efavirenz, single-tablet regimen, highly active antiretroviral therapy, quality of life, pharmacoeconomics, adherence

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