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Alcohol Alcohol. 2005 Sep-Oct;40(5):422-30. Epub 2005 Jun 6.

A critical review of pharmacoeconomic studies of acamprosate.

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Office for Research and Innovative Projects on Alcohol, Other Addictions and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Trieste, Via De Pastrovich 5/A, 34126 TRIESTE, Italy.



This review assessed the published data on the cost-effectiveness of acamprosate for the treatment of alcohol dependence.


Four Markov modelling studies have assessed the therapeutic benefit and economic impact of acamprosate on the treatment of alcohol dependence. These have evaluated both short-term and long-term outcomes and have used German, Belgian, and Spanish costings. A fifth prospective cohort study collected real outcomes and data on expenditure during a 1 year study follow-up period.


All five studies have produced consistent results, showing the use of acamprosate, which enhances abstinence rates, to reduce the total costs of treatment and thus be dominant over other rehabilitation strategies not involving pharmacotherapy. In all of the studies, the principal cost-driver is hospitalization. Although there is a short-term increase in treatment costs associated with drug acquisition, these are recovered from long-term savings attributable to reduced hospitalization and rehabilitation costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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