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Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2012;8:377-84. doi: 10.2147/TCRM.S33674. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of HIV treatment in the clinical practice of a public hospital in northern Italy.

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1st Infectious Diseases Department, "L. Sacco" Hospital, Milan, Italy.



We carried out an economic analysis to assess the cost-effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens in Italy for the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients according to clinical practice in the Infectious Diseases Department of "L. Sacco" Hospital, Milan, Italy.


The incremental cost-effectiveness analysis was completed by means of a Markov model. Through a decision-analytic approach, this enabled us to compare the studied antiretroviral regimens. The model considered a population of adult HIV subjects who received HAART therapy for the first time according to clinical practice in the Infectious Diseases Department of "L. Sacco" Hospital, Milan. Data were investigated from the standpoint of the Lombardy Regional Health Service. We considered the following outcome measures: quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and direct health costs calculated for the years 2008 and 2009. The time horizon adopted in the model was 2 years.


The model revealed that, in terms of cost per gained QALY, the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate + emtricitabine + efavirenz (TDF+FTC+EFV) once-a-day treatment strategy seems to be the most cost-effective therapeutic choice (€34,965); the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) values for the remaining strategies ranged from €53,000 to around €62,000 per QALY. The validity of the base case scenario was then confirmed by means of a sensitivity analysis on the main variables.


The TDF+FTC+EFV treatment strategy (TDF/FTC+EFV fixed-dose combination then switched to single-tablet regimen [STR]) in this setting is the most cost-effective treatment strategy compared with the other therapeutic regimens. The ICER value for the TDF+FTC+EFV once-a-day then switched to STR treatment was lower than the internationally generally accepted threshold value of €50,000. The developed model is a tool for policy makers and health care professionals for creating short- and long-term cost projections, with the aim of assessing their impact on the available budgets for HIV patients.


AIDS; HAART antiretroviral therapy regimens; HIV; Markov model; QALYs; cost-effectiveness; quality-adjusted life-years; single-tablet regimen (STR)

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