Cost-effectiveness of longer-term versus shorter-term provision of antibiotics in patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease
SourcePLoS One, 13, 4, (2018), article e0195260
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: The treatment of persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease remains controversial. Recently, the PLEASE study did not demonstrate any additional clinical benefit of longer-term versus shorter-term antibiotic treatment. However, the economic impact of the antibiotic strategies has not been investigated. METHODS: This prospective economic evaluation, adhering a societal perspective, was performed alongside the PLEASE study, a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind 1:1:1 randomized clinical trial in which all patients received open-label intravenous ceftriaxone for two weeks before the 12-week randomized blinded oral antibiotic regimen (doxycycline, clarithromycin plus hydroxychloroquine, or placebo). Between 2010 and 2013, patients (n = 271) with borreliosis-attributed persistent symptoms were enrolled and followed for one year. Main outcomes were costs, quality-adjusted life years, and incremental net monetary benefit of longer-term versus shorter-term antibiotic therapy. RESULTS: Mean quality-adjusted life years (95% CI) were not significantly different (p = 0.96): 0.82 (0.77-0.88) for ceftriaxone/doxycycline (n = 82), 0.81 (0.76-0.88) for ceftriaxone/clarithromycin-hydroxychloroquine (n = 93), and 0.81 (0.76-0.86) for ceftriaxone/placebo (n = 96). Total societal costs per patient (95% CI) were not significantly different either (p = 0.35): euro11,995 (euro8,823-euro15,670) for ceftriaxone/doxycycline, euro12,202 (euro9,572-euro15,253) for ceftriaxone/clarithromycin-hydroxychloroquine, and euro15,249 (euro11,294-euro19,781) for ceftriaxone/placebo. Incremental net monetary benefit (95% CI) for ceftriaxone/doxycycline compared to ceftriaxone/placebo varied from euro3,317 (-euro2,199-euro8,998) to euro4,285 (-euro6,085-euro14,524) over the willingness-to-pay range, and that of ceftriaxone/clarithromycin-hydroxychloroquine compared to ceftriaxone/placebo from euro3,098 (-euro888-euro7,172) to euro3,710 (-euro4,254-euro11,651). For every willingness-to-pay threshold, the incremental net monetary benefits did not significantly differ from zero. CONCLUSION: The longer-term treatments were similar with regard to costs, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness compared to shorter-term treatment in patients with borreliosis-attributed persistent symptoms after one year of follow-up. Given the results of this study, and taking into account the external costs associated with antibiotic resistance, the shorter-term treatment is the antibiotic regimen of first choice.
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