Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients experience prolonged neutropenia after treatment with intensive chemotherapy, leading to a high risk of invasive fungal infections (IFI). The present study evaluates the cost effectiveness of posaconazole vs. standard azoles for the prevention of IFIs in neutropenic patients in the Netherlands. Methods: A decision-tree model was developed using data from a randomized trial that compared posaconazole and standard azole (fluconazole or itraconazole) prophylaxis in neutropenic patients receiving remission-induction chemotherapy for AML/MDS (Cornely et al., N Engl J Med 2007;356:348-359). Following initiation of prophylaxis, clinical events are modeled with chance nodes reflecting probabilities of IFIs, IFI-related death, and death from other causes. Patients surviving the prophylaxis are assumed to have a life expectancy according to the underlying condition. This allows translation of the trial outcomes to a lifetime horizon. Data on life expectancy, quality of life, medical resource consumption and costs were obtained from the literature. Model outcomes include cost per life year (LY) gained and cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Results: The total cost (treatment of breakthrough IFI + prophylaxis) for posaconazole amounted to €4412 (95% uncertainty interval €3403-€5666), which is -€183 (-€1985 to €1564) less than costs with standard azoles. Posaconazole prophylaxis resulted in 0.08 (0.02-0.15) QALYs gained in comparison with prophylaxis with standard azoles. Results from a probabilistic sensitivity analysis indicate that there is a 90% probability that the cost per QALY gained with posaconazole is below €20 000. Additional scenario analyzes with different assumptions confirmed these findings. Conclusion: Given the underlying data and assumptions, the economic evaluation demonstrated that posaconazole prophylaxis is expected to be cost-effective compared with fluconazole/itraconazole in neutropenic AML/MDS patients after intensive chemotherapy.

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European Journal of Haematology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Stam, W.B, O'Sullivan, A.K, Rijnders, B.J.A, Lugtenburg, P.J, Span, L.F.R, Janssen, J.J.W.M, & Jansen, J.P. (2008). Economic evaluation of posaconazole vs. standard azole prophylaxis in high risk neutropenic patients in the Netherlands. European Journal of Haematology, 81(6), 467–474. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01141.x