Cost effectiveness analysis of HLA-B*58:01 genotyping prior to initiation of allopurinol for gout

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Objective. To determine whether prospective testing for HLA-B*58:01, as a strategy to prevent serious adverse reactions to allopurinol in patients with gout, is cost-effective from the perspective of the National Health Service in the UK. Methods. A systematic review and meta-analysis for the association of HLA-B*58:01 with cutaneous and hypersensitivity adverse drug reactions informed a decision analytic and Markov model to estimate lifetime costs and outcomes associated with testing vs standard care (with febuxostat prescribed for patients who test positive). Scenario analyses assessed alternative treatment assumptions and patient populations. Results. The number of patients needed to test to prevent one case of adverse drug reaction was 11 286 (95% central range (CR): 2573, 53 594). Cost and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gains were small, £103 (95% CR: £98, £106) and 0.0023 (95% CR: - 0.0006, 0.0055), respectively, resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £44 954 per QALY gained. The probability of testing being cost-effective at a threshold of £30 000 per QALY was 0.25. Reduced costs of testing or febuxostat resulted in an ICER below £30 000 per QALY gained. The ICER for patients with chronic renal insufficiency was £38 478 per QALY gained. Conclusion. Routine testing for HLA-B*58:01 in order to reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions in patients being prescribed allopurinol for gout is unlikely to be cost-effective in the UK; however testing is expected to become cost-effective with reductions in the cost of genotyping, and with the future availability of cheaper, generic febuxostat.




Plumpton, C. O., Alfirevic, A., Pirmohamed, M., & Hughes, D. A. (2017). Cost effectiveness analysis of HLA-B*58:01 genotyping prior to initiation of allopurinol for gout. Rheumatology (United Kingdom), 56(10), 1729–1739.

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