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Optimizing choice of oral interferon-free treatment for genotype 1 hepatitis C virus using testing for NS5A resistance: a cost-utility analysis from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service

Authors Westerhout KY, Bouwmeester W, Duchesne I, Pisini M, Piena MA, Damele F, Gueron B, Treur M, Belsey J

Received 19 July 2016

Accepted for publication 27 October 2016

Published 27 February 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 163—172


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Kirsten Y Westerhout,1 Walter Bouwmeester,1 Inge Duchesne,2 Marta Pisini,2 Marjanne A Piena,1 Francesco Damele,3 Beatrice Gueron,2 Maarten Treur,1 Jonathan Belsey4

1Pharmerit BV, Marten Meesweg, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 2Janssen EMEA, Turnhoutseweg, Beerse, Belgium; 3Janssen-Cilag SpA, Via Michelangelo Buonarroti, Cologno Monzese, Italy; 4JB Medical Ltd, Old Brickworks, Little Cornard, United Kingdom

Background: Patients with genotype-1 hepatitis C virus infection who have failed to respond to standard therapy or who relapse following treatment may be considered for an interferon-free regimen incorporating a nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) inhibitor. Sustained virologic response (SVR) with these regimens is typically >90%, but this is reduced in patients with NS5A resistance. European Association for Study of the Liver guidelines recommend simeprevir + sofosbuvir ± ribavirin (SMV+SOF±R) for re-treating patients failing an NS5A inhibitor-containing regimen. An alternative strategy would be to test for NS5A resistance prior to treatment, with therapy optimized based on the results. This study investigates the cost-effectiveness of this strategy.
Materials and methods: A Markov model was used to estimate disease progression for treatment-experienced genotype 1 patients with severe fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis. Targeted treatment with either SMV+SOF±R or sofosbuvir + ledipasvir ± ribavirin (SOF+LDV±R) based on pretreatment NS5A resistance testing was compared to routine SOF+LDV±R without testing. Treatment duration was 12 or 24 weeks for patients with severe fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis (Metavir F3/F4). SVR data for the treatment options were based on the results of published clinical trials. The analysis was carried out from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service.
Results: Optimized treatment using NS5A resistance testing yielded 0.163 additional QALYs and increased costs of €2,789 per patient versus no testing. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was €17,078/QALY. Sensitivity analysis identified the SVR attributable to each of the treatment regimens as the most sensitive determinant of ICER (range: €10,055/QALY–€43,501/QALY across plausible range). Probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated that, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €30,000/QALY, the probability that NS5A-directed treatment will be cost-effective is 81.4%.
Conclusion: Optimizing therapy with either SMV+SOF±R or SOF+LDV±R based on pretreatment NS5A resistance testing was cost-effective from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service, in treatment-experienced patients with severe fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis.

Keywords: hepatitis C, NS5A inhibitor, simeprevir, sofosbuvir, ledipasvir, health economics

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