Background: The PHARMACOP-intervention significantly improved medication adherence and inhalation technique for patients with COPD compared with usual care. This study aimed to evaluate its cost-effectiveness.Methods: An economic analysis was performed from the Belgian healthcare payer's perspective. A Markov model was constructed in which a representative group of patients with COPD (mean age of 70 years, 66% male, 43% current smokers and mean Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second of % predicted of 50), was followed for either receiving the 3-month PHARMACOP-intervention or usual care. Three types of costs were calculated: intervention costs, medication costs and exacerbation costs. Outcome measures included the number of hospital-treated exacerbations, cost per prevented hospital-treated exacerbation and cost per Quality Adjusted Life-Year. Follow-up was 1 year in the basecase analysis. Sensitivity and scenario analyses (including long-term follow-up) were performed to assess uncertainty.Results: In the basecase analysis, the average overall costs per patient for the PHARMACOP-intervention and usual care were €2,221 and €2,448, respectively within the 1-year time horizon. This reflects cost savings of €227 for the PHARMACOP-intervention. The PHARMACOP-intervention resulted in the prevention of 0.07 hospital-treated exacerbations per patient (0.177 for PHARMACOP versus 0.244 for usual care). Results showed robust cost-savings in various sensitivity analyses.Conclusions: Optimization of current pharmacotherapy (e.g. close monitoring of inhalation technique and medication adherence) has been shown to be cost-saving and should be considered before adding new therapies.

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Respiratory Research (Print)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Boven, J., Tommelein, E., Boussery, K., Mehuys, E., Vegter, P. C., Brusselle, G., … Postma, M. (2014). Improving inhaler adherence in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Respiratory Research (Print), 15(1). doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-66