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Chronic hepatitis B virus case-finding in UK populations born abroad in intermediate or high endemicity countries: an economic evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere030183
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
DateAccepted/In press - 28 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 28 Jun 2019


OBJECTIVES: The majority (>90%) of new or undiagnosed cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the UK are among individuals born in countries with intermediate or high prevalence levels (≥2%). We evaluate the cost-effectiveness of increased HBV case-finding among UK migrant populations, based on a one-time opt out case-finding approach in a primary care setting.

DESIGN: Cost-effectiveness evaluation. A decision model based on a Markov approach was built to assess the progression of HBV infection with and without treatment as a result of case-finding. The model parameters, including the cost and effects of case-finding and treatment, were estimated from the literature. All costs were expressed in 2017/2018 British Pounds (GBPs) and health outcomes as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).

INTERVENTION: Hepatitis B virus case-finding among UK migrant populations born in countries with intermediate or high prevalence levels (≥2%) in a primary care setting compared with no intervention (background testing).

RESULTS: At a 2% hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence, the case-finding intervention led to a mean incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £13 625 per QALY gained which was 87% and 98% likely of being cost-effective at willingness to pay (WTP) thresholds of £20 000 and £30 000 per additional QALY, respectively. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the intervention would remain cost-effective under a £20 000 WTP threshold as long as HBsAg prevalence among the migrant population is at least 1%. However, the results were sensitive to a number of parameters, especially the time horizon and probability of treatment uptake.

CONCLUSIONS: HBV case-finding using a one-time opt out approach in primary care settings is very likely to be cost-effective among UK migrant populations with HBsAg prevalence ≥1% if the WTP for an additional QALY is around £20 000.

Additional information

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

    Structured keywords

  • Bristol Population Health Science Institute

    Research areas

  • case-finding, economic evaluation, health economics, health services research, hepatitis B virus, hepatology

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    Licence: CC BY


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