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Cost-effectiveness analysis of artesunate and quinine + tetracycline for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Author(s): Honrado ER, Fungladda W, Kamoiratanaku P, Kitayaporn D, Karbwang J, Thimasarn K, Masngammueng R

Affiliation(s): Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Department of Health, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Publication date & source: 1999, Bull World Health Organ., 77(3):235-43.

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

A randomized, controlled, malaria-clinic-based field trial was carried out to compare the cost-effectiveness of a 5-day 700-mg oral artesunate and a 7-day quinine + tetracycline regimen for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Thailand. Cost-effectiveness was determined from the providers' perspective and based on curative effectiveness. A total of 137 patients, aged 15-60 years, attending a malaria clinic were followed for 28 days, 60 of them received quinine + tetracycline and 77 received artesunate. Cure rates were assessed on day 5 (artesunate) and day 7 (quinine + tetracycline), using the intention-to-treat approach. Cost-effectiveness and sensitivity analyses were performed by varying the day 5/day 7 curative effectiveness and cost of artesunate. The cure rate with artesunate (100%) was significantly higher than with quinine + tetracycline (77.4%) (relative risk adjusted for sex (aRR) = 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12-1.55; referent quinine + tetracycline). Artesunate was more cost-effective than quinine + tetracycline at the following costs: artesunate, < or = US$0.36 per 50-mg tablet; quinine, US$0.06 per 300-mg tablet; tetracycline, US$0.02 per 250-mg capsule; and services per case found, < or = US$11.49. Because of the higher cure rate and higher cost-effectiveness of the artesunate regimen compared with quinine + tetracycline, we recommend its use for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in malaria clinics in Thailand.

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