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Verteporfin photodynamic therapy cohort study: report 3: cost effectiveness and lessons for future evaluations.

Author(s): Grieve R, Guerriero C, Walker J, Tomlin K, Langham J, Harding S, Chakravathy U, Carpenter J, Reeves BC, Verteporfin Photodynamic Therapy Cohort Study Group

Affiliation(s): The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England. richard.grieve@lshtm.ac.uk

Publication date & source: 2009-12, Ophthalmology., 116(12):2471-77.e1-2.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PURPOSE: To report (1) the costs of verteporfin photodynamic therapy (VPDT) in routine treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), (2) the relationship between health and social service costs and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), (3) the cost-effectiveness of VPDT versus a best supportive care (BSC) group who were assumed to have no active treatment, and (4) lessons for future cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs). DESIGN: The CEA of VPDT versus BSC that uses health-related quality of life (HrQoL), resource use, and visual acuity data from the United Kingdom (UK) VPDT Cohort Study. PARTICIPANTS: Data on VPDT use were collected from patients attending 45 ophthalmology provider units in the UK National Health Service, 15 units collected data on self-reported use of services. METHODS: Incremental costs of VPDT versus BSC were calculated from treatment costs, change in cost associated with declining BCVA, and difference in BCVA previously attributed to VPDT. Similarly, incremental quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated from change in HRQoL associated with declining BCVA, giving an incremental cost per QALY of VPDT versus BSC over 2 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incremental costs (UK pounds [ pound]; United States dollars [$]); incremental QALYs; costs per QALY. RESULTS: The treatment costs of VDPT were pound 3026 ($4544) in year 1 and pound 845 ($1269) in year 2. For patients who used services, a 5-letter decrease in BCVA was associated with an increase in annual costs of approximately pound 110 ($165; 95% confidence intervals, approximately pound 48 [$72] to pound 174 [$261]). The incremental costs and QALYs for VPDT were pound 3514 ($5276) and 0.021, respectively, giving incremental costs per QALY gained of pound 170000 ($255000). CONCLUSIONS: Verteporfin photodynamic therapy is unlikely to be cost effective for patients with nAMD. This article provides realistic estimates of VPDT costs and the costs associated with declining vision. Future studies can follow this approach to assess accurately the cost effectiveness of new interventions for nAMD.

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