Document Type : Original Article
State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
People’s Hospital Medical Community of Yuhuan County, Taizhou, China
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is highly prevalent among adults in rural China and better management of those populations is of vital importance for viral hepatitis elimination. Adult immunization has been the subject of much controversy in previous studies. This study estimates the cost-effectiveness of population-based hepatitis B screening, treatment, and immunization strategy (comprehensive strategy) in rural areas with high prevalence under the national policy of sharp- drop drug prices.
We constructed a Markov model comparing 4 strategies in a 30-year horizon from the healthcare payer perspective: (1) the conventional pattern; (2) screening and treating infected (treatment); (3) screening and immunizing susceptible individuals (immunization); and (4) the comprehensive strategy. Screening intensity ranged from 50% to 100%. Outcomes were measured by costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and clinical outcomes.
The costs for the conventional pattern, treatment strategy, immunization strategy, and comprehensive strategy were US$ 341, 351, 318, and 323, respectively. In addition, effects were 17.45, 17.57, 17.46, and 17.58 QALYs, respectively. The ICER of the comprehensive strategy was US$ 35/QALY gained at 50% screening intensity and 420 US$/QALY gained at 100%. The net monetary benefit increased with increasing screening intensity and declined after 90%, with the highest value of US$40 693. All new infections and 52.5% mortality could be avoided from 2020 to 2049 if all patients were properly treated and all susceptible individuals were immunized. The results were stable within a wide range of parameters.
It was cost-effective to implement the mass hepatitis B screening, treatment, and immunization strategy in areas of rural China with high prevalence, and the strategy gained the most net monetary benefit at a screening intensity of 90%. Although it was impractical to fulfill 100% coverage, efforts should be made to obtain more people screened.