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The cost-utility of treating anemia with continuous erythropoietin receptor activator or Epoetin versus routine blood transfusions among chronic hemodialysis patients

Authors Maoujoud O, Ahid S, Cherrah Y

Received 9 September 2015

Accepted for publication 17 November 2015

Published 24 February 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 35—43


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Xu-jie Zhou

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal

Omar Maoujoud,1,2 Samir Ahid,1 Yahia Cherrah1

1Research Team of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Medical and Pharmacy School, Mohammed V University, Rabat, 2Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Military Hospital, Agadir, Morocco

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the cost-utility of treating anemic dialysis patients with continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) once monthly or Epoetin Beta (EpoB) thrice weekly compared with a reference strategy of managing anemia with red blood cell transfusion (RBCT).
Methods: Cost-utility analysis study design. Decision analysis model, National health care payer, over 1 year with the publicly funded health care system. Chronic hemodialysis patients with renal anemia were included. The outcome marker of this study was the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained (incremental cost-utility ratio [ICUR]) of CERA or EpoB relative to RBCT.
Results: The total cost per patient (in US$) was estimated at $2,176.37, $4,107.01, and $4,356.69 for RBCT, CERA, and EpoB, respectively. The cost-utility ratio was calculated at 4,423.52, 6,955.50, and 7,406.38 $/QALY for RBCT, CERA, and EpoB, with an ICUR of CERA and EpoB in relation to RBCT at 19,606.40 and 22,466.09 $/QALY, respectively. In sensitivity analysis, the model was most sensitive to hospitalization costs, hospital stay, and annual number of RBCT units. Also, assuming utility and survival improvement with erythropoiesis stimulating agents use resulted in a decrease in ICUR at 13,429 $/QALY for CERA and 15,331 $/QALY for EpoB. In probabilistic sensitivity analysis, the main results of our model were unchanged; CERA and EpoB were more costly and more effective than RBCT below a threshold of 19,500 $/QALY. CERA was the best option for a willingness to pay over 19,500 $/QALY.
Limitations: Some model parameters were obtained from observational data, the comparator RBCT is not the standard of care.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that managing anemia in dialysis patient with CERA or EpoB may results in better outcomes with higher overall costs. Considering different assumptions, we found substantial variability in the estimates of the cost-utility and incremental of using CERA or EpoB.

Keywords: cost-utility, cost-effectiveness, anemia, dialysis, erythropoiesis stimulating agents, continuous erythropoietin receptor activator, epoetin

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