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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2002 Jul;10(7):518-27.

A prospective, randomized, pragmatic, health outcomes trial evaluating the incorporation of hylan G-F 20 into the treatment paradigm for patients with knee osteoarthritis (Part 2 of 2): economic results.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



Viscosupplementation with hylan G-F 20 has recently become registered for treatment of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in most parts of the world. The cost effectiveness and cost utility of this new therapeutic modality were determined as part of a Canadian prospective, randomized, 1-year, open-label, multicentered trial.


A total of 255 patients were randomized to 'Appropriate care with hylan G-F 20' (AC+H) or 'Appropriate care without hylan G-F 20' (AC). Costs (1999 Canadian dollars) were collected from the societal viewpoint and included all costs related to OA of the knee and OA in all joints. Patients completed a number of outcomes questionnaires including the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). Data were collected at clinic visits (baseline, 12 months) and by telephone (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months).


The AC+H group over the year had higher costs ($2125-$1415=$710, P< 0.05), more patients improved (69%-40%=29%,P =0.0001), greater increases in HUI3 (0.13-0.03=0.10, P< 0.0001) and increased quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) (0.071, P< 0.05). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $2505/patient improved. The incremental cost-utility ratio was $10000/QALY gained. Sensitivity analyses and a second cost perspective gave similar results.


The cost-utility ratio is below the suggested Canadian adoption threshold. The results provide strong evidence for adoption of treatment with hylan G-F 20 in the patients and settings studied in the trial.

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