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Economic evaluation of initial antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected patients: an update of Italian guidelines

Authors Colombo GL, Di Matteo S, Antinori A, Medaglia M, Murachelli S, Rizzardini G

Received 14 May 2013

Accepted for publication 27 June 2013

Published 3 October 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 489—496


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Giorgio L Colombo,1,2 Sergio Di Matteo,2 Andrea Antinori,3 Massimo Medaglia,4 Silvia Murachelli,3 Giuliano Rizzardini5

1Department of Drug Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 2SAVE – Studi Analisi Valutazioni Economiche, Milan, Italy; 3National Institute for Infectious Diseases L Spallanzani, IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 4Pharmaceutical Department, L. Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy; 5First Division of Infectious Disease, L. Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy

Introduction: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has allowed many HIV-infected patients to enjoy longer survival and a better quality of life. We performed an economic analysis to estimate the cost-effectiveness of HAART regimens in Italy for managing HIV-naïve infected patients with a viral load below 100,000 copies/mL.
Patients and methods: The population considered in the model consisted of adult subjects with an HIV viral load below 100,000 copies/mL who received antiretroviral HAART treatment for the first time, according to the Italian National Guidelines with recommendation grade A1. The incremental cost-effectiveness analysis of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was carried out by means of a Markov model. Both the outcomes (QALYs) and the costs were discounted by 3.5%. The time horizon adopted in the model was 10 years. The point of view of the analysis was that of the Italian national health service.
Results: The tenofovir (TDF)/emtricitabine (FTC)/rilpivirine (RPV) single-tablet regimen (STR) (€7,417.00) revealed the lowest mean treatment cost. TDF/FTC + raltegravir (RAL) showed a better quality of life (0.906 QALY/year), followed by TDF/FTC/RPV (STR; 0.900 QALY/year), TDF/FTC + RPV (multipill regimen) (0.889 QALY/year), and TDF/FTC + atazanavir (ATV/r) (0.886 QALY/year). TDF/FTC/RPV (STR) appeared to be the most cost-effective therapeutic choice (€13,655.00), followed by TDF/FTC + RPV (multipill regimen) (€15,803.00), and TDF/FTC + efavirenz (EFV) (€16,181.00). The sensitivity analysis on the main variables confirmed the validity of the base case scenario.
Conclusion: STR (TDF/FTC/RPV) is the most cost-effective treatment strategy compared with the other therapeutic regimens recommended by the Italian guidelines for the treatment of naïve patients with a viral load <100,000 copies/mL. The inclusion of adverse-event management of HIV-infected patients affects the cost-effectiveness ratio of all HAART regimens.

Keywords: HIV, HAART, single-tablet regimen (STR), Markov model, cost-effectiveness

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