Indexed on: 08 Apr '10Published on: 08 Apr '10Published in: European journal of medical research
Avoiding abacavir in HIV-infected patients tested positive for HLA-B*5701 reduces the risk of abacavir hypersensitivity reaction (ABC-HSR). Our aim was to assess the costs of clinically suspected HSR and to estimate potential cost savings of implementing prospective HLA-B*5701-screening for HIV-infected patients initiating abacavir/lamivudine fixed-dose combination (ABC/3TC FDC) compared to initiating respective treatment without screening.Employing a decision tree model the expected HSR-related costs of screening vs. no screening were estimated from the societal and healthcare payer perspective (reference year 2007). A retrospective standardized assessment of all clinically suspected ABC-HSR cases without screening at 5 German HIV-centres was performed to measure resource consumption. In- and outpatient care, discarded ABC/3TC FDC and concomitant medication were considered. Direct resource utilization was valued using German fees (EBM, G-DRGs). Indirect costs were measured with the human capital approach. Estimates for the HLA-B*5701-prevalence, HSR-incidence, and hospitalization rate were based on clinical trials and cohorts and it was assumed that screening reduces the incidence of clinically suspected ABC-HSR from 10% to 0.5%.Thirty-two ABC-HSR cases were identified from 1998 to 2007. Mean direct and total costs per clinically suspected HSR case were € 1,362 and € 2,235, respectively. Hospital costs contributed 63.3% to direct costs. Potential cost savings when implementing genetic screening were estimated at € 44 and € 127 per screened patient, from a healthcare payer or societal perspective.HLA-B*5701 screening prior to ABC/3TC FDC initiation prevents significant HSR-related costs per screened patient and is likely to lead to overall net savings.