2015. Cure S et al. – Cost-effectiveness of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin with or without pegylated interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in Italy

 

Cure S, Guerra I, Cammà C, Craxì A, Carosi G. Cost-effectiveness of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin with or without pegylated interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in Italy. J Med Econ. 2015;18(9):678-90.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25891129

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Across Italy up to 7.3% of the population is infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), with long-term complications resulting in high medical costs and significant morbidity and mortality. Current treatment options have limitations due to side effects, interferon intolerability and ineligibility, long treatment durations and low sustained virological response (SVR) rates, especially for the most severe patients). Sofosbuvir is the first nucleotide polymerase inhibitor with pan-genotypic activity. Sofosbuvir, administered with ribavirin (RBV) and with or without pegylated interferon (PEG-INF), resulted in >90% SVR across treatment-naïve (TN) genotype (GT) 1-6 patients. It is also the first treatment option for patients that are unsuitable for interferon (UI). This analysis evaluates the cost – effectiveness of sofosbuvir for GTs 1-6 in Italy.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A Markov model followed a cohort of 10,000 patients until they reached 80 years old. Approximately 20% of naïve and 30% of experienced patients initiated treatment at the cirrhosis stage. Comparators included PEG-INF + RBV for all GTs and plus telaprevir or boceprevir for GT1, or no treatment. Costs and outcomes were discounted at 3% and the cost perspective was that of the National Health Service in Italy.

RESULTS: Sofosbuvir was cost-effective with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) below €40,000/QALY in all patient populations, particularly in cirrhotic patients. The exception was for a mixed cohort of GT2 TN patients where the ICER was €68,500/QALY and for a cirrhotic cohort of GT4/5/6 where the ICER was €68,434/QALY. Nevertheless, the prevalence of HCV in this patient population is expected to be low. Results were robust to sensitivity analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Sofosbuvir-based regimens are cost-effective in Italy, particular for the most severe patients. The interferon-free regimens are a real treatment option for UI patients. The high cure rates of this breakthrough treatment are expected to substantially reduce the burden of HCV in Italy.