Budget impact of optimizing rifaximin-alpha use for the prevention of recurrent hepatic encephalopathy in The Netherlands

Lisa Aniek de Jong, Alexander Victor van Schoonhoven*, Hinko Stephan Hofstra, Maarten Jacobus Postma, Bart van Hoek

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Aims Rifaximin-alpha as an adjunct to lactulose is reimbursed in the Netherlands for prevention of the third and subsequent episodes of overt Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) in cirrhotic patients. However, use of rifaximin-alpha remains limited. This study evaluates the clinical and economic impact of treating all patients eligible under Dutch reimbursement conditions with rifaximin-alpha as an adjunct to lactulose for the prevention of overt HE in the Netherlands from a hospital and healthcare payer's perspective. Materials and methods A budget impact analysis was performed following national and international guidelines. Resource use was based on Dutch real-world data. HE-related cost inputs were based on the declaration codes, Dutch cost manual, and actual drug list prices. Several sensitivity and scenario analyses were conducted to assess model robustness. Results Treating eligible HE patients with rifaximin-alpha in addition to lactulose saves euro4,487 and costs euro249 per patient over a 5-year period compared with lactulose monotherapy from hospital and healthcare payer's perspectives, respectively. In the Netherlands, an estimated 38% of the 2,567 eligible patients are currently being treated with rifaximin-alpha. Optimizing rifaximin-alpha use by treating all eligible patients with the rifaximin-alpha + lactulose could save more than 3,000 hospital admissions, almost 15,000 hospital bed days, and 300 deaths over a 5-year period. Despite increased drug costs, treatment is estimated to result in potential cost savings over a 5-year period of 7.2 million euros from a Dutch hospital perspective. The budget impact is 397,770 euros from a healthcare payer's perspective. Conclusions Next to a clinical perspective, also from an economic perspective, wider prescription of rifaximin-alpha adhering to guidelines could be beneficial to reduce costs from a hospital perspective. From a healthcare payer's perspective, costs increase with addition of rifaximin-alpha due to relative better survival causing relatively higher drug and liver transplantation-related costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1163
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9-Oct-2021

Keywords

  • Rifaximin-alpha
  • lactulose
  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • economic model
  • budget impact
  • hospitalization
  • LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION
  • COST-EFFECTIVENESS
  • CIRRHOSIS
  • EFFICACY
  • BURDEN

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