Clin Microbiol Infect. 2023 Jun 23:S1198-743X(23)00296-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2023.06.018. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Treatment guidelines are key drivers of prescribing practice in the management of Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI), but recommendations on best practice can vary. We conducted a cost-utility analysis to compare the treatment pathway recommended by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) guideline with the pathway proposed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline, from the perspective of the UK National Health Service (NHS).
METHODS: A decision tree modelling approach was adopted to reflect the treatment pathway for CDI as outlined in ESCMID and NICE guidelines. Patients experiencing a CDI infection received up to three treatments per infection to achieve a response and could subsequently experience up to two recurrences. Data on patient demographics, treatment response, recurrence, utilities, CDI-related mortality and costs were taken from published literature.
RESULTS: The ESCMID treatment pathway was cost-effective versus the NICE treatment pathway at a threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £4,931. Cost-effectiveness was driven by differences in index infection recommendations (ESCMID recommends fidaxomicin as first-line treatment whereas NICE recommends vancomycin). The model results were robust to variations in inputs investigated in scenarios and sensitivity analyses, and probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) demonstrated that the ESCMID guideline treatment strategy had a 100% likelihood of being cost-effective versus the NICE treatment strategy.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the NICE guideline, the ESCMID guideline recommendations for treating an index CDI represent the most cost-effective use of healthcare resources from the perspective of the UK NHS.