Cost-utility analysis of second-generation direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C: a systematic review
Introduction: High prices of second-generation direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients led to reimbursement decisions based on cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY).
Areas covered: We performed a systematic review of cost-utility analyses (CUA) comparing interventions with second-generation DAA therapies with no treatment, and with previous therapies for chronic HCV patients until July 2017. A total of 36 studies were included: 30 studies from the perspective of the healthcare payer, 3 from the societal perspective, and 3 did not report the perspective. For genotype 1, the highest number of ICER comparison corresponds to sofosbuvir (SOF) triple therapy and SOF-based combinations which reported a cost per QALY systematically ranging from negative to lower than US$100,000 when compared with no treatment or dual therapy or Simeprevir triple therapy.
Expert commentary: Selected studies may be overestimating the true cost per QALY of second-generation DAAs in the treatment of HCV, mainly because of neglecting non-healthcare costs, using official list prices which are higher than actual transaction prices and not adopting the long run drug price in a dynamic approach. In addition, the impact of important price reductions of several DAAs in recent years on cost per QALY should be considered.