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Effect of discounting on estimation of benefits determined by hepatitis C treatment.

Messori, Andrea; Fadda, Valeria; Maratea, Dario; Trippoli, Sabrina.
World J Gastroenterol; 18(23): 3032-4, 2012 Jun 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22736930
The combination of either boceprevir or telaprevir with ribavirin and interferon (triple therapy) has been shown to be more effective than ribavirin+interferon (dual therapy) for the treatment of genotype 1 hepatitis C. Since the benefit of these treatments takes place after years, simulation models are needed to predict long-term outcomes. In simulation models, the choice of different values of yearly discount rates (e.g., 6%, 3.5%, 2%, 1.5% or 0%) influences the results, but no studies have specifically addressed this issue. We examined this point by determining the long-term benefits under different conditions on the basis of standard modelling and using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) to quantify the benefits. In our base case scenario, we compared the long-term benefit between patients given a treatment with a 40% sustained virologic response (SVR) (dual therapy) and patients given a treatment with a 70% SVR (triple therapy), and we then examined how these specific yearly discount rates influenced the incremental benefit. The gain between a 70% SVR and a 40% SVR decreased from 0.45 QALYs with a 0% discount rate to 0.22 QALYs with a 6% discount rate (ratio between the two values = 2.04). Testing the other discounting assumptions confirmed that the discount rate has a marked impact on the magnitude of the model-estimated incremental benefit. In conclusion, the results of our analysis can be helpful to better interpret cost-effectiveness studies evaluating new treatment for hepatitis C.
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