Economic consequences of anti-HCV treatment of patients diagnosed through screening in Italy : a prospective modelling analysis

Marcellusi, Andrea, Simonelli, Claudia, Mennini, Francesco S and Kondili, Loreta A (2021) Economic consequences of anti-HCV treatment of patients diagnosed through screening in Italy : a prospective modelling analysis. Applied health economics and health policy, ISSN (print) 1179-1896 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Abstract

To evaluate the cost-consequences of the investment for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment by the Italian National Health System (NHS) for patients who will be newly diagnosed through active HCV screening, implemented in Italy from 2020. A previously published Markov model was used to estimate the disease complications avoided and the associated savings over 20 years to treat a standardised population of 10,000 HCV-infected patients diagnosed as a result of screening. Disease progression probabilities and fibrosis stage distribution were based on previously reported data in the literature. Real-life treatment effectiveness and medical expenses for disease management were estimated starting from a representative cohort of HCV-treated patients in Italy (Italian Platform for the Study of Viral Hepatitis Therapies). The breakeven point in time (BPT) was defined as the years required for the initial investment in treatment to be recovered in terms of cumulative costs saved. Over a 20-year time horizon, the treatment of 10,000 standardized patients diagnosed through active HCV screening results in 7769 avoided events of progression, which are associated with €838.73 million net savings accrued by the Italian NHS. The initial investment in treatment is recouped in 4.3 years in the form of savings from disease complications avoided. Investment in treatment of newly diagnosed patients will bring a significant reduction in disease complications, which is associated with great economic benefits. This type of action can reduce the infection rate as well as the clinical and economic disease burden of HCV in Italy. [Abstract copyright: © 2021. The Author(s).]

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