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Current HIV Research


ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

An Economic Evaluation of Treatments for HIV-Associated Facial Lipoatrophy: A Cost-Utility Analysis

Author(s): Sirianong Peyasantiwong, Mona R. Loutfy, Audrey Laporte and Peter C. Coyte

Volume 8, Issue 5, 2010

Page: [386 - 395] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/157016210791330383

Price: $65


Introduction: HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy (FLA) is a stigmatizing hallmark for persons living with HIV [PLWH], and can lead to poor social functioning, social isolation, and reduced labour force participation. Treatments for this condition are prohibitively expensive and are not publicly insured in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Information gleaned from an economic evaluation of treatments for FLA could inform policy decision making concerning coverage. Method: Decision-analytic techniques were used to estimate the lifetime incremental costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained from use of either Poly-l-lactic acid or Polyalkylimide gel from the perspectives of society and the Ontario Ministry of Health. Disease progression probabilities and utilities were derived from the literature. Costs were obtained through interviews with product distributors and physicians who perform these treatments. Costs were valued in 2009 Canadian Dollars. Costs and outcomes were discounted annually at 3%. Findings: Treatments using Polyalkylimide gel exhibit such a cost advantage over those using Poly-l-lactic acid that they more than compensate for the health-related quality of life advantages of Poly-l-lactic acid. From a Ministry of Health perspective, the incremental cost-utility ratios for Polyalkylimide gel or Poly-l-lactic acid compared to no treatment were $45,457 CAD or $57,352 CAD per QALY, respectively, $1.00 CAD = $0.876 USD). From a societal perspective the equivalent ratios were $48,583 CAD and $66,608 CAD respectively. These findings were not altered in the sensitivity analyses. Conclusion: FLA treatments for PLWH enhance QALYs and meet conventional cost-utility thresholds. The incremental cost per QALY for Polyalkylimide gel was lower than that for Poly-l-lactic acid.

Keywords: Facial lipoatrophy, HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy, economic evaluation, cost-utility analysis

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