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Health Economics of Antibiotics

Author(s): Steven Simoens

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 1348;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: health economics | antibiotics | cost-utility analysis | incremental cost-utility ratio

Antibiotics have made a significant contribution to improving patient health, but policy makers and health care payers are concerned about the costs of antibiotics in addition to their effectiveness. This paper aims to assess the value of antibiotics by examining incremental cost-utility ratios of antibiotics. Evidence was derived from cost-utility analyses of antibiotics included in the Tufts-New England Center Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry through September 2009. The analysis included 85 incremental cost-utility ratios from 23 cost-utility analyses. The findings showed that 38.8% of incremental cost-utility ratios related to dominant antibiotics (i.e., more effective and less costly than the comparator); 45.9% referred to antibiotics that improved effectiveness, but also increased costs; and 15.3% related to dominated antibiotics (i.e., less effective and more costly than the comparator). The median ratio was 748 € per quality-adjusted life year. Using threshold values of 20,000 € per quality-adjusted life year and 50,000 € per quality-adjusted life year, the probability that an antibiotic provides value for money was 64% and 67%, respectively. The current evidence base suggests that the majority of antibiotics provide value for money and that antibiotics can aid decision makers to attain further population health improvements, whilst containing pharmaceutical expenditures.
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