Cost-effectiveness of screening and treatment using direct-acting antivirals for chronic Hepatitis C virus in a primary care setting in Karachi, Pakistan

Josephine G Walker*, Peter T Vickerman, Aaron G Lim, Linda S Campbell, Joanna Coast, Nyashadzaishe Mafirakureva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Background: Despite the availability of effective direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatments for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, many people remain undiagnosed and untreated. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) HCV screening and treatment program within a primary health clinic in Karachi, Pakistan.

Methods: A health state-transition Markov model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the MSF program. Program cost and outcome data were analyzed retrospectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated in terms of incremental cost (2016 US$) per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted from the provider’s perspective over a life-time horizon. The robustness of the model was evaluated using deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA).

Results: The ICER for implementing testing and treatment compared to no program was US$450/DALY averted, with 100% of PSA runs falling below the per-capita Gross Domestic Product threshold for cost-effective interventions for Pakistan (US$1,422). The ICER increased to US$532/DALY averted assuming national HCV sero-prevalence (5.5% versus 33% observed in the intervention). If the cost of liver disease care was included (adapted from resource use data from Cambodia which has similar GDP to Pakistan), the ICER dropped to US$148/DALY, while it became cost-saving if a recently negotiated reduced drug cost of $75/treatment course was assumed (versus $282 in base case) in addition to cost of liver disease care.

Conclusion: Screening and DAA treatment for HCV infection is expected to be highly cost-effective in Pakistan, supporting the expansion of similar screening and treatment programs across Pakistan.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • cost effectiveness
  • chronic hepatitis C
  • low income population
  • Pakistan
  • treatment costs

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