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Br J Dermatol. 2007 Apr;156(4):687-92. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

To freeze or not to freeze: a cost-effectiveness analysis of wart treatment.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Practice, School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK. m.keogh-brown@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several general practitioner (GP)-prescribed and over-the-counter therapies for warts and verrucae are available. However, the cost-effectiveness of these treatments is unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the cost-effectiveness of different treatments for cutaneous warts.

METHODS:

We designed a decision-analytic Markov simulation model based on systematic review evidence to estimate the cost-effectiveness of various treatments. The outcome measures studied are percentage of patients cured, cost of treatment and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for each treatment, compared with no treatment, after 18 weeks.

RESULTS:

Duct tape was most cost-effective but published evidence of its effectiveness is sparse. Salicylic acid was the most cost-effective over-the-counter treatment commonly used. Cryotherapy administered by a GP was less cost-effective than GP-prescribed salicylic acid and less cost-effective than cryotherapy administered by a nurse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Duct tape could be adopted as the primary treatment for cutaneous warts if its effectiveness is verified by further rigorous trials. Nurse-administered cryotherapy is likely to be more cost-effective than GP-administered cryotherapy.

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PMID:
17326748
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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