The cost-effectiveness of albumin in the treatment of decompensated cirrhosis in Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Health Econ Rev. 2019 Jul 05;9(1):22
Authors: Runken MC, Caraceni P, Fernandez J, Zipprich A, Carlton R, Bunke M
BACKGROUND: Albumin is frequently prescribed in cirrhotic patients with acute decompensation. However, the true cost effectiveness of albumin use in cirrhotic patients is still under debate.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of albumin in the treatment of decompensated cirrhosis in Germany, Italy, and Spain.
METHODS: A decision-tree economic model was developed to evaluate treatments for decompensated cirrhosis from the hospital perspective over a typical inpatient admission. The treatments for large volume paracentesis (LVP) were albumin vs saline, gelatin, or no fluid. The treatments for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) were albumin plus antibiotics vs antibiotics alone. The treatments for hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) were albumin plus a vasoconstrictor vs a vasoconstrictor alone. Effectiveness inputs were literature-based. Cost inputs included pharmacy costs and medical complication costs of decompensated cirrhosis. The primary model assessments were incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) per life saved and per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).
RESULTS: Albumin was found to be both less costly and more effective relative to saline, gelatin, and no fluid for the treatment of LVP across all 3 countries. For SBP, albumin plus antibiotics was more clinically effective than antibiotics alone in all 3 countries. The combination of albumin plus antibiotics was less costly than antibiotics alone in Germany and Italy, making albumin a dominant treatment (ie, less costly and more effective). In the management of SBP in Spain, albumin plus antibiotics compared to antibiotics alone resulted in ICERs of €1516 per life saved and €3369 per QALY gained. Albumin plus a vasoconstrictor was both less costly and more effective than vasoconstrictor alone in the treatment of HRS across all 3 countries.
CONCLUSION: This analysis demonstrates that albumin is cost-effective in terms of lives saved and QALYs gained in the management of decompensated cirrhosis associated with LVP, SBP, or HRS.
PMID: 31278624 [PubMed]