source: European Journal of Endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies
Donovan PJ, McLeod DS, Little R, Gordon L
Little data is in existence about the most cost-effective primary treatment for Graves’ disease. We performed a cost-utility analysis comparing radioactive iodine (RAI), anti-thyroid drugs (ATD) and total thyroidectomy (TT) as first-line therapy for Graves’ disease in England and Australia.
We used a Markov model to compare lifetime costs and benefits (quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs)). The model included efficacy, rates of relapse and major complications associated with each treatment, and alternative second-line therapies. Model parameters were obtained from published literature. One-way sensitivity analyses were conducted. Costs were presented in 2015£ or Australian Dollars (AUD).
RAI was the least expensive therapy in both England (£5425; QALYs 34.73) and Australia (AUD5601; 30.97 QALYs). In base case results, in both countries, ATD was a cost-effective alternative to RAI (£16 866; 35.17 QALYs; incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) £26 279 per QALY gained England; AUD8924; 31.37 QALYs; ICER AUD9687 per QALY gained Australia), while RAI dominated TT (£7115; QALYs 33.93 England; AUD15 668; 30.25 QALYs Australia). In sensitivity analysis, base case results were stable to changes in most cost, transition probabilities and health-relative quality-of-life (HRQoL) weights; however, in England, the results were sensitive to changes in the HRQoL weights of hypothyroidism and euthyroidism on ATD.
In this analysis, RAI is the least expensive choice for first-line treatment strategy for Graves’ disease. In England and Australia, ATD is likely to be a cost-effective alternative, while TT is unlikely to be cost-effective. Further research into HRQoL in Graves’ disease could improve the quality of future studies.
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Australia; University of Queensland, Australia; QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia; Griffith University, Australia
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