Cost minimisation analysis of 12 or 24 weeks of peginterferon alfa-2b + ribavirin for hepatitis C virus

Paola De Compadri, Daniela Koleva, Alessandra Mangia, Nicola Motterlini, Livio Garattini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pegylated interferon and ribavirin are at present the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. Objective: The present economic evaluation compared 12 vs. 24 weeks of peginterferon alfa-2b + ribavirin treatments for HCV genotypes 2 or 3. Shortening the period of antiviral therapy is important in terms of adverse events and costs. Methods: Clinical evidence was based on the results of a multicentre, randomised controlled clinical trial (RCCT) conducted in Italy, which found that the shorter course of therapy was as effective as the 24-week course for patients with HCV genotypes 2 or 3 responding to treatment at 4 weeks. A cost minimisation analysis was performed. The analysis took the Italian National Health Service (INHS) point of view, thus only healthcare costs (drugs, medical consultations, diagnostic tests, hospital admissions) were considered. Healthcare activities were estimated by the RCCT principal investigators and were priced by applying the INHS tariffs and prices. Results: The total mean cost per patient was estimated at €9,785 for the standard group and €7,508 for the variable-duration group. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of the baseline results. Conclusions: This study showed that the variable-duration regimen can be recommended as an efficient use of resources for patients from the INHS perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Cost minimisation analysis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Peginterferon alfa-2b
  • Ribavirin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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