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Cost-effectiveness of growth factors during hepatitis C anti-viral therapy.
Chapko MK, Dominitz JA. Cost-effectiveness of growth factors during hepatitis C anti-viral therapy. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2006 Oct 1; 24(7):1067-77.
BACKGROUND: Although the current standard of care for controlling anaemia and neutropenia during anti-viral therapy for hepatitis C is to use dose reduction of ribavirin and pegylated interferon, respectively, erythropoietin and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor are now being advocated as alternatives to dose reduction. AIM: To determine the cost-effectiveness of erythropoietin and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor as an alternative to anti-viral dose reduction during antihepatitis C therapy. METHODS: Decision analysis was used to assess cost-effectiveness by estimating the cost of using a growth factor per quality-adjusted life-year gained. RESULTS: Under baseline assumptions, the cost per quality-adjusted life-year of using growth factors ranged from 16,247 US dollars for genotype 1 with neutropenia to 145,468 US dollars for genotype 2/3 patients with anaemia. These findings are sensitive to the relationship between dose reduction and sustained virological response. CONCLUSIONS: Based upon our findings and the varying strength of the evidence for a relationship between dose reduction and sustained virological response: granulocyte colony-stimulating factor may be cost-effective for genotype 1 patients; erythropoietin is probably not cost-effective for genotype 2/3 patients; no conclusion can be reached regarding the cost-effectiveness of erythropoietin for genotype 1 patients or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for genotype 2/3 patients. Randomized trials are needed to firmly establish the relationship between dose reduction and sustained virological response.