Drs Lacey and Gane from Ireland studied the economic evaluation of short-duration treatments of chronic Hepatitis B and longer duration antiviral treatment for up to 5 years.
The research team developed 2 different 10-health state Markov models for Hepatitis B e antigen-positive and antigen-negative chronic Hepatitis B patients, respectively.
The models followed cohorts of Hepatitis B e antigen-positive and antigen-negative chronic Hepatitis B patients, respectively, over a period of 40 years.
|Antiviral therapy for 5 years decreased the rate of disease progression|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
Costs and benefits were discounted at 5% per annum.
The research team obtained annual rates of disease progression and the magnitude of treatment effects from the literature.
The research team focused on data obtained in Asian patients and meeting the criteria for therapy as described in internationally recognized management guidelines.
Short-course therapy with a-interferon, or 1-year treatment with pegylated interferon a-2a, lamivudine or adefovir had limited impact on disease progression.
In contrast, the researchers noted that treatment of chronic Hepatitis B with antiviral therapy for 5 years substantially decreased the rate of disease progression.
Treatment with lamivudine for 1-year was found to be highly cost-effective compared with no treatment of chronic Hepatitis B.
However, the team noted that 1-year lamivudine therapy had limited effect on reducing the rate of disease progression.
Compared with 1-year treatment with lamivudine, the team found that sequential antiviral therapies for up to 5 years are highly cost-effective by international standards.
Dr Lacey and colleague comment, "These conclusions are robust to uncertainties in model inputs and are consistent with the findings of other recently published studies."