Background and Aim: Tremendous healthcare resources have been spent on the management of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and its related complications. Therefore, a proper evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of pharmacotherapy is vital in aid of decision-making. The aim of the present study was to examine the long-term economic and clinical influence if lamivudine was replaced by entecavir in a group of CHB patients.
Methods: A recently published decision analytic model was adapted to study the cost-effectiveness of 2 years of treatment of entecavir in a hypothetical cohort of 1000 hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative CHB patients from a public hospital perspective. Compensated cirrhosis (CC) and de-compensated cirrhosis (DC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) events were projected to 10 years. Hong Kong-specific health care costs were used. Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) were calculated using the utility values obtained from a local study.
Results: In the base case analysis, compared with lamivudine, the use of entecavir was expected to reduce the incidences of CC, DC and HCC by 41.8%, 57.1% and 49.3%, respectively, and lead to a saving of $US 1.17 million in medical cost. The overall disease management cost for entecavir, which was 67.7% higher than lamivudine for 2 years treatment was reduced to 17.2% after projecting 2-year treatment duration to 10 years. The incremental cost per QALY gained for entecavir compared with lamivudine was $US 13 759.
Conclusions: Based on the recommended cost-effectiveness threshold of the World Health Organization, entecavir is considered cost-effective compared with lamivudine in treating CHB in Hong Kong when long term medical consequences were considered.