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Prev Med. 1997 Mar-Apr;26(2):264-70.

The cost-effectiveness of the nicotine transdermal patch for smoking cessation.

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1
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature mortality in the United States. In 13 double-blind, controlled trials, the nicotine transdermal patch has been demonstrated to be an effective aid to quitting smoking, even after 6 months of follow-up. Because physicians and payers may consider the cost of the patch to be prohibitive, we examine the cost-effectiveness of the nicotine patch as an adjunct to brief physician counseling during routine office visits.

METHODS:

We estimate the effectiveness of both patch use with brief counseling and counseling alone from meta-analysis of clinical trials. Benefits are measured in terms of years of life gained by those who quit, discounted at 5%. Costs include physician time and patch prescriptions. The incremental cost-effectiveness is quantified as cost per additional year of life saved when patch plus counseling is compared with brief physician counseling alone.

RESULTS:

Depending on age, the average costs per year of life saved range from $965 to $1,585 for men and from $1,634 to $2,360 for women. Incremental costs per year of life saved range from $1,796 to $2,949 for men and from $3,040 to $4,391 for women.

CONCLUSION:

The nicotine patch is cost-effective and less costly per year of life saved than other widely accepted medical practices. Physicians and third-party payers should recommend the nicotine patch to patients who wish to stop smoking.

PMID:
9085397
DOI:
10.1006/pmed.1996.0127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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