The cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for smoking cessation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients
Article first published online: 9 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 12, pages 2110–2117, December 2009
How to Cite
Van Schayck, C. P., Kaper, J., Wagena, E. J., Wouters, E. F. M. and Severens, J. L. (2009), The cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for smoking cessation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Addiction, 104: 2110–2117. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02723.x
- Issue published online: 9 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 9 NOV 2009
- Submitted 19 February 2009; initial review completed 18 May 2009; final version accepted 1 July 2009
- smoking cessation
Objectives In healthy smokers, antidepressants can double the odds of cessation. Because of its four times lower costs and comparable efficacy in healthy smokers, nortriptyline appears to be favourable compared to bupropion. We assessed which of both drugs was most effective and cost-effective in stopping smoking after 1 year compared with placebo among smokers at risk or with existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods A total of 255 participants, aged 30–70 years, received smoking cessation counselling and were assigned bupropion, nortriptyline or placebo randomly for 12 weeks. Prolonged abstinence from smoking was defined as a participant's report of no cigarettes from week 4 to week 52, validated by urinary cotinine. Costs were calculated using a societal perspective and uncertainty was assessed using the bootstrap method.
Results The prolonged abstinence rate was 20.9% with bupropion, 20.0% with nortriptyline and 13.5% with placebo. The differences between bupropion and placebo [relative risk (RR) = 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8–3.0] and between nortriptyline and placebo (RR = 1.5; 95% CI 0.8–2.9) were not significant. Severity of airway obstruction did not influence abstinence significantly. Societal costs were €1368 (2.5th–97.5th percentile 193–5260) with bupropion, €1906 (2.5th–97.5th 120–17 761) with nortriptyline and €1212 (2.5th–97.5th 96–6602) with placebo. Were society willing to pay more than €2000 for a quitter, bupropion was most likely to be cost-effective.
Conclusions Bupropion and nortriptyline seem to be equally effective, but bupropion appears to be more cost-effective when compared to placebo and nortriptyline. This impression holds using only health care costs. As the cost-effectiveness analyses concern some uncertainties, the results should be interpreted with care and future studies are needed to replicate the findings.