Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Lamivudine for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B
Steven J. Crowley
Paul V. Desmond
Objective: To estimate the short term and long term cost effectiveness, from a healthcare perspective, associated with the introduction of lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B. Design: The analysis used a 2-step modelling approach. A decision tree was used to estimate clinical outcomes and costs after 1 year. The 1-year results were then extrapolated to 70 years using a Markov model. Patients: The study population comprised hypothetical cohorts of patients with chronic hepatitis B, representative of those likely to receive treatment in clinical practice in Australia. Main outcome measures and results: In the short term, more patients seroconverted when lamivudine was available, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 3341 Australian dollars ($A) per additional seroconversion. In the long term, the introduction of lamivudine increased life expectancy by 3.9 years [3.2 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs)] compared with when interferon-alpha was the only treatment, or 4.6 years (3.8 QALYs) compared with no treatment. There were reductions in lifetime risk of developing compensated cirrhosis, decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma of 5, 11 and 11%, respectively, when lamivudine was available. The incremental cost of having lamivudine available, as opposed to interferon-alpha only, was $A633 per year of life saved or $A735 per QALY. Conclusion: The introduction of lamivudine is expected to reduce and delay the progression of chronic hepatitis B, increasing the life expectancy and quality of life of patients for a small overall increase in healthcare costs.
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