Copyright © 2016 Zafari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background. Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a recently developed treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe asthma. A few studies have suggested the clinical efficacy of this intervention. However, no study has evaluated the cost-effectiveness of BT compared to other alternative treatments for moderate-to-severe allergic asthma, which currently include omalizumab and standard therapy. Objective. To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of standard therapy, BT, and omalizumab for moderateto- severe allergic asthma in the USA. Methods. A probabilistic Markov model with weekly cycles was developed to reflect the course of asthma progression over a 5-year time horizon. The study population was adults with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma whose asthma remained uncontrolled despite using high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS, with or without long-acting beta-agonists [LABA]). A perspective of the health-care system was adopted with asthma-related costs as well as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and exacerbations as the outcomes. Results. For standard therapy, BT, and omalizumab, the discounted 5-year costs and QALYs were $15,400 and 3.08, $28,100 and 3.24, and $117,000 and 3.26, respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of BT versus standard therapy and omalizumab versus BT was $78,700/QALY and $3.86 million/QALY, respectively. At the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of $50,000/QALY and $100,000/QALY, the probability of BT being cost-effective was 9%, and 67%, respectively. The corresponding expected value of perfect information (EVPI) was $155 and $1,530 per individual at these thresholds. In sensitivity analyses, increasing the costs of BT from $14,900 to $30,000 increased its ICER relative to standard therapy to $178,000/QALY, and decreased the ICER of omalizumab relative to BT to $3.06 million/QALY. Reducing the costs of omalizumab by 25% decreased its ICER relative to BT by 29%. Conclusions. Based on the available evidence, our study suggests that there is more than 60% chance that BT becomes cost-effective relative to omalizumab and standard therapy at the WTP of $100,000/QALY in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. However, there is a substantial uncertainty in the underlying evidence, indicating the need for future research towards reducing such uncertainty.
Zafari, Z., Sadatsafavi, M., Marra, C. A., Chen, W., & FitzGerald, J. M. (2016). Cost-effectiveness of bronchial thermoplasty, omalizumab, and standard therapy for moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. PLoS ONE, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146003