Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that triple therapy (TT) with peginterferon alpha, ribavirin, and boceprevir (BOC) or telaprevir (TVR) is more effective than peginterferon-ribavirin dual therapy (DT) in the treatment of previously untreated patients with genotype 1 (G1) chronic hepatitis C (CHC). We assessed the cost-effectiveness of TT compared to DT in the treatment of untreated patients with G1 CHC. We created a Markov Decision Model to evaluate, in untreated Caucasian patients age 50 years, weight 70 kg, with G1 CHC and Metavir F2 liver fibrosis score, for a time horizon of 20 years, the cost-effectiveness of the following five competing strategies: 1) boceprevir response-guided therapy (BOC-RGT); 2) boceprevir IL28B genotype-guided strategy (BOC-IL28B); 3) boceprevir rapid virologic response (RVR)-guided strategy (BOC-RVR); 4) telaprevir response-guided therapy (TVR-RGT); 5) telaprevir IL28B genotype-guided strategy (TVR-IL28B). Outcomes included life-years gained (LYG), costs (in 2011 euros) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). In the base-case analysis BOC-RVR and TVR-IL28B strategies were the most effective and cost-effective of evaluated strategies. LYG was 4.04 with BOC-RVR and 4.42 with TVR-IL28B. ICER compared with DT was €8.304 per LYG for BOC-RVR and €11.455 per LYG for TVR-IL28B. The model was highly sensitive to IL28B CC genotype, likelihood of RVR and sustained virologic response, and BOC/TVR prices. Conclusion: In untreated G1 CHC patients age 50 years, TT with first-generation protease inhibitors is cost-effective compared with DT. Multiple strategies to reduce costs and improve effectiveness include RVR or genotype-guided treatment.
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