Economic evaluation of posaconazole versus fluconazole prophylaxis in patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the Netherlands
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of posaconazole versus fluconazole for the prevention of invasive fungal infections (IFI) in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) patients in the Netherlands. A decision analytic model was developed based on a double-blind randomized trial that compared posaconazole with fluconazole antifungal prophylaxis in recipients of allogeneic HSCT with GVHD who were receiving immunosuppressive therapy (Ullmann et al., N Engl J Med 356:335-347, 2007). Clinical events were modeled with chance nodes reflecting probabilities of IFIs, IFI-related death, and death from other causes. Data on life expectancy, quality-of-life, medical resource consumption, and costs were obtained from the literature. The total cost with posaconazole amounted to €9,428 (95% uncertainty interval €7,743-11,388), which is €4,566 (€2,460-6,854) more than those with fluconazole. Posaconazole prophylaxis resulted in 0.17 (0.02-0.36) quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained compared to fluconazole prophylaxis, corresponding to an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €26,225 per QALY gained. A scenario analysis demonstrated that at an increased background IFI risk (from 9% to 15%) the ICER was €13,462 per QALY. Given the underlying data and assumptions, posaconazole prophylaxis is expected to be cost-effective relative to fluconazole in recipients of allogeneic HSCT developing GVHD in the Netherlands. The cost-effectiveness of posaconazole depends on the IFI risk, which can vary by hospital.