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Value Health. 2010 Mar-Apr;13(2):209-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4733.2009.00672.x. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

The cost-effectiveness of an extended course (12+12 weeks) of varenicline compared with other available smoking cessation strategies in the United States: an extension and update to the BENESCO model.

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  • 1Heron Evidence Development Ltd., Luton, UK. chris.knight@heronhealth.com



This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of an extended (12+12 weeks) course of varenicline using the (Benefits of Smoking Cessation on Outcomes) BENESCO smoking cessation model.


Data on the efficacy of 12+12 weeks varenicline therapy in aiding smoking cessation were analyzed in conjunction with the efficacy data for 12 weeks of varenicline, bupropion, and placebo previously included in the BENESCO model, by using a mixed treatment comparison. This analysis provided updated efficacy estimates for all the interventions, and these were used to update the model to estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of all smoking cessation interventions considered, now including 12+12 weeks of varenicline.


The updated 1-year abstinence estimates derived from the mixed treatment comparison were, for 12+12 weeks of varenicline, 12 weeks of varenicline, 12 weeks of bupropion, and 12 weeks of placebo, respectively: 27.7%, 22.9%, 15.9%, and 9.3%. The average cost of the course of 12+12 weeks of varenicline was estimated at $603.89, based on a 12-week course followed by a further 12 weeks for successful quitters. Over all subjects' lifetimes, 12+12 weeks of varenicline is less costly and more effective than (dominates) all other strategies compared in the updated BENESCO model, with the exception of 12 weeks of varenicline. In this comparison, 12+12 weeks of varenicline is a very cost-effective alternative to the 12-week course, with an incremental cost of less than $1000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.


A total of 12 weeks of varenicline followed by a further 12-week course for successful quitters is a highly cost-effective alternative compared with currently available smoking cessation options.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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