BACKGROUND: SPRINT-2 demonstrated that boceprevir (BOC), an oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural 3 (NS3) protease inhibitor, added to peginterferon alfa-2b (P) and ribavirin (R) significantly increased sustained virologic response rates over PR alone in previously untreated adult patients with chronic HCV genotype 1. We estimated the long-term impact of triple therapy vs. dual therapy on the clinical burden of HCV and performed a cost-effectiveness evaluation. METHODS: A Markov model was used to estimate the incidence of liver complications, discounted costs (2010 US$), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of three treatment strategies for treatment-naive patients with chronic HCV genotype 1. The model simulates the treatment regimens studied in SPRINT-2 in which PR was administered for 4 weeks followed by: 1) placebo plus PR for 44 weeks (PR48); 2) BOC plus PR using response guided therapy (BOC/RGT); and 3) BOC plus PR for 44 weeks (BOC/PR48) and makes projections within and beyond the trial. HCV-related state-transition probabilities, costs, and utilities were obtained from previously published studies. All costs and QALYs were discounted at 3%. RESULTS: The model projected approximately 38% and 43% relative reductions in the lifetime incidence of liver complications in the BOC/RGT and BOC/PR48 regimens compared with PR48, respectively. Treatment with BOC/RGT is associated with an incremental cost of $10,348 and an increase of 0.62 QALYs compared to treatment with PR48. Treatment with BOC/PR48 is associated with an incremental cost of $35,727 and an increase of 0.65 QALYs compared to treatment with PR48. The ICERs were $16,792/QALY and $55,162/QALY for the boceprevir-based treatment groups compared with PR48, respectively. The ICER for BOC/PR48 compared with BOC/RGT was $807,804. CONCLUSION: The boceprevir-based regimens used in the SPRINT-2 trial were projected to substantially reduce the lifetime incidence of liver complications and increase the QALYs in treatment-naive patients with hepatitis C genotype 1. It was also demonstrated that boceprevir-based regimens offer patients the possibility of experiencing great clinical benefit with a shorter duration of therapy. Both boceprevir-based treatment strategies were projected to be cost-effective at a reasonable threshold in the US when compared to treatment with PR48.
BACKGROUND: The recent approval of two protease inhibitors, boceprevir and telaprevir, is likely to change the management of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the long-term clinical outcomes and the cost effectiveness of therapeutic strategies using boceprevir with peginterferon plus ribavirin (PR) in comparison with PR alone for treating HCV genotype 1 infection in Portugal. METHODS: A Markov model was developed to project the expected lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with PR alone and the treatment strategies outlined by the European Medicines Agency in the boceprevir summary of product characteristics. The boceprevir-based therapeutic strategies differ according to whether or not the patient was previously treated and whether or not the patient had compensated cirrhosis. The model simulated the experience of a series of cohorts of chronically HCV-infected patients (each defined by age, sex, race and fibrosis score). All treatment-related inputs were obtained from boceprevir clinical trials - SPRINT-2, RESPOND-2 and PROVIDE. Estimates of the natural history parameters and health state utilities were based on published studies. Portugal-specific annual direct costs of HCV health states were estimated by convening a panel of experts to derive health state resource use and multiplying the results by national unit costs. The model was developed from a healthcare system perspective with a timeframe corresponding to the remaining duration of the patients' lifetimes. Both future costs and QALYs were discounted at 5 %. To test the robustness of the conclusions, we conducted deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. RESULTS: In comparison with the treatment with PR alone, boceprevir-based regimens were projected to reduce the lifetime incidence of advanced liver disease, liver transplantation, and liver-related death by 45-51 % and increase life expectancy by 2.3-4.3 years. Although the addition of BOC increased treatment costs by euro13,300-euro19,700, the reduction of disease burden resulted in a decrease of euro5,400-euro9,000 in discounted health state costs and an increase of 0.68-1.23 in discounted QALYs per patient. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of the boceprevir-based regimens compared with PR among previously untreated and previously treated patients were euro11,600/QALY and euro8,700/QALY, respectively. The results were most sensitive to variations in sustained virologic response rates, discount rates and age at treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Adding boceprevir to PR was projected to reduce the number of liver complications and liver-related deaths, and to be cost effective in treating both previously untreated and treated patients.
OBJECTIVES: The phase 3 trial, Serine Protease Inhibitor Boceprevir and PegIntron/Rebetol-2 (RESPOND-2), demonstrated that the addition of boceprevir (BOC) to peginterferon-ribavirin (PR) resulted in significantly higher rates of sustained virologic response (SVR) in previously treated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype-1 infection as compared with PR alone. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of treatment with BOC in previously treated patients with chronic hepatitis C in the United States using treatment-related data from RESPOND-2 and PROVIDE studies. METHODS: We developed a Markov cohort model to project the burden of HCV disease, lifetime costs, and quality-adjusted life-years associated with PR and two BOC-based therapies-response-guided therapy (BOC/RGT) and fixed-duration therapy for 48 weeks (BOC/PR48). We estimated treatment-related inputs (efficacy, adverse events, and discontinuations) from clinical trials and obtained disease progression rates, costs, and quality-of-life data from published studies. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for BOC-based regimens as studied in RESPOND-2, as well as by patient's prior response to treatment and the IL-28B genotype. RESULTS: BOC-based regimens were projected to reduce the lifetime incidence of liver-related complications by 43% to 53% in comparison with treatment with PR. The ICER of BOC/RGT in comparison with that of PR was $30,200, and the ICER of BOC/PR48 in comparison with that of BOC/RGT was $91,500. At a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000, the probabilities of BOC/RGT and BOC/PR48 being the preferred option were 0.74 and 0.25, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In patients previously treated for chronic HCV genotype-1 infection, BOC was projected to increase quality-adjusted life-years and reduce the lifetime incidence of liver complications. In addition, BOC-based therapies were projected to be cost-effective in comparison with PR alone at commonly used willingness-to-pay thresholds.
Mammography is the most effective screening tool for early diagnosis of breast cancer. Based on the mammography findings, radiologists need to choose from one of the following three alternatives: 1) take immediate diagnostic actions including prompt biopsy to confirm breast cancer; 2) recommend a follow-up mammogram; 3) recommend routine annual mammography. There are no validated structured guidelines based on a decision-analytical framework to aid radiologists in making such patient management decisions. Surprisingly, only 15-45% of the breast biopsies and less than 1% of short-interval follow-up recommendations are found to be malignant, resulting in unnecessary tests and patient-anxiety. We develop a finite-horizon discrete-time Markov decision process (MDP) model that may help radiologists make patient-management decisions to maximize a patient's total expected quality-adjusted life years. We use clinical data to find the policies recommended by the MDP model and also compare them to decisions made by radiologists at a large mammography practice. We also derive the structural properties of the MDP model, including sufficiency conditions that ensure the existence of a double control-limit type policy.
CONTEXT: During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, computational agent-based models (ABMs) were extensively used to evaluate interventions to control the spread of emerging pathogens. However, evaluating different possible combinations of interventions using ABMs can be computationally very expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, most policy studies have examined the impact of a single policy decision. OBJECTIVE: To apply a sequential experimental design method with an ABM to analyze policy alternatives composed of a combination of school closure and vaccination policies to provide a set of promising "optimal" combinations of policies to control an H1N1-type epidemic to policy makers. METHODS: We used an open-source agent-based modeling system, FRED (A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamic), to simulate the spread of an H1N1 epidemic in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania, with a census-based synthetic population. We used an approach called best subset selection method to evaluate 72 alternative policies consisting of a combination of options for school closure threshold, closure duration, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices prioritization, and second-dose vaccination prioritization policies. Using the attack rate as a performance measure, best subset selection enabled us to eliminate inferior alternatives and identify a small group of alternative policies that could be further evaluated on the basis of other criteria. RESULTS: Our sequential design approach to evaluate a combination of alternative mitigation policies leads to a savings in computational effort by a factor of 2 when examining combinations of school closure and vaccination policies. CONCLUSIONS: Best subset selection demonstrates a substantial reduction in the computational burden of a large-scale ABM in evaluating several alternative policies. Our method also provides policy makers with a set of promising policy combinations for further evaluation based on implementation considerations or other criteria.