Browsing by Subject "cost-effectiveness"

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  • Joensuu, Jaana (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with prevalence of 0.8% among Finnish adult population. Consequent medical treatment, joint replacement surgery and productivity losses lead to significant expenses for society. While biological treatments for RA are costly, they can improve patients' quality of life and work participation. Economic evaluations provide information on the benefits and costs of these expensive treatments to aid optimal utilization of limited healthcare resources. This master`s thesis comprises the description of the Finnish Current Care Guidelines for RA, the cost of biological treatments and the principles of economic evaluations and health technology assessment. A systematic literature review was performed to identify existing studies examining the cost-effectiveness of biological treatments for RA. Of the 4890 references found with the literature search, 38 original studies and 9 previous systematic reviews were included in the current systematic literature review. Details of the methods as well as information on treatments, costs, benefits and incremental cost-effectiveness were extracted. Quality of the original studies was evaluated using quality assessment tools. Ninety percent (34/38) of the original studies used cost-utility modeling approach. Quality of life estimates were derived from RA specific health assessment questionnaire in a majority of the studies. Based on the current systematic literature review, the evidence on the cost-effectiveness of biological treatments is inconsistent. The incremental cost-effectiveness of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers was 13 500-772 000 €/ quality adjusted life year (QALY) in comparison to conventional disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARD) among patients without previous treatment with DMARDs. Several studies reported incremental cost-effectiveness ratios over 100 000 €/QALY in this population. Among patients with insufficient response to DMARDs, TNF blockers provided incremental cost-effectiveness ratios between 6 700 and 317 000 €/QALY. In most studies Rituximab was found to be a cost-effective alternative in contrast to other treatments among patients with insufficient response to TNF blockers. Biological treatments are not cost-effective among patients naïve to conventional DMARDs. Meanwhile, in patients with previous DMARD failure TNF-blockers might be cost-effective. The evidence on the cost effectiveness of biological treatments supports Finnish Current Care Guidelines. The quality assessment of the included studies revealed several sources of bias, consequently reducing the validity of the studies. Only a few of the conference abstracts in current subject has been published later as an article indicating existence of reporting bias. This study has several strengths. First, a comprehensive literature search was performed. Second, the quality of included studies was carefully evaluated. Finally, the methods and reporting are transparent. Weakness of the current study is one person extracting data and assessing the quality of the studies, which may reduce the reliability of this study. This systematic literature review is a basis for future studies examining cost-effectiveness of biological treatments in Finnish healthcare system.
  • Rissanen, Julius (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Abstract Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences Program: Economics Study track: General Track Author: Julius Vili Henrik Rissanen Title: Comparing cost-effectiveness of short-term and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapies focusing on patients with depressive disorder and their work ability during a 5-year follow-up. Level: Master’s Thesis Month and Year: November 2021 Number of Pages: Keywords: Psychotherapy; cost-effectiveness; Work Ability; psychodynamic; randomized trial; Instructors: Roope Uusitalo, Lauri Sääksvuori, Costanza Biavaschi, Olavi Lindfors Deposited at: Helsingin Yliopiston kirjasto Other information: Abstract: Background: Mental health disorders pose significant burden to the society, for example, because of decreased work ability. Psychotherapy as one of the most important treatment methods also causes significant costs for the healthcare system. Putting effort into cost-effectiveness between the different therapy types can help promote better targeting of treatments and economic efficiency in society. Aims: Explore cost-effectiveness in improving work ability between short-term and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in patients with depression. Methods: The 192 depressive patients randomized to two psychotherapies of different lengths in the Helsinki Psychotherapy Study were measured in baseline and annually for five years. Work Ability Index (WAI) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) as an effectiveness outcome measures were compared to the total direct costs with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) between the treatments. Results: The total direct cost of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (SPP; €7,087) was significantly lower than for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP; €19,959). The biggest explanatory factor between the cost of the treatments was protocol study therapy costs (SPP €1304; LPP €16,715). In addition, those randomized to the SPP had significant costs during the follow-up from the non-protocol auxiliary psychotherapy treatments (€5142) which were more than fives times compared to the LPP. All of these cost differences between the treatment groups were statistically significant. Psychotropic medication and outpatient care each averaged below €2000, and the differences weren’t statistically significant. Psychiatric hospitalization during the follow-up was rare but yielded significant costs to the associated patients. Differences of effectiveness between the treatment groups on the work ability were not statistically significant. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was highly unstable due to small differences in efficiency, but large differences in cost. Conclusions: The study found a clear difference in cost in favour of SPP without losing in the effectiveness of the treatment. However, patients in the SPP used a significant amount of non-protocol auxiliary psychotherapy treatments which may be an indication of insufficient therapy treatment. The absence of difference in the effectiveness can be thus attributed to the widespread utilization of additional treatments in the SPP. Going forward, expanding the study to account for the impact of patient’s suitability to the treatment, particularly in understanding SPP cost-effectiveness, would be worthwhile.
  • EPO-TBI Investigators; ANZICS Clinical Trials Grp; Knott, Rachel J.; Harris, Anthony; Higgins, Alisa; Pettilä, Ville; Skrifvars, Markus B. (2019)
    The EPO-TBI multi-national randomized controlled trial found that erythropoietin (EPO), when compared to placebo, did not affect 6-month neurological outcome, but reduced illness severity-adjusted mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), making the cost-effectiveness of EPO in TBI uncertain. The current study uses patient-level data from the EPO-TBI trial to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of EPO in patients with moderate or severe TBI from the healthcare payers' perspective. We addressed the issue of transferability in multi-national trials by estimating costs and effects for specific geographical regions of the study (Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and Saudi Arabia). Unadjusted mean quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs; 95% confidence interval [CI]) at 6 months were 0.027 (0.020-0.034; p <0.001) higher in the EPO group, with an adjusted QALY increment of 0.014 (0.000-0.028; p = 0.04). Mean unadjusted costs (95% CI) were $US5668 (-9191 to -2144; p = 0.002) lower in the treatment group; controlling for baseline IMPACT-TBI score and regional heterogeneity reduced this difference to $2377 (-12,446 to 7693; p = 0.64). For a willingness-to-pay threshold of $US50,000 per QALY, 71.8% of replications were considered cost-effective. Therefore, we did not find evidence that EPO was significantly cost-effective in the treatment of moderate or severe TBI at 6-month follow-up.
  • Purmonen, Timo; Puolakka, Kari; Mishra, Dinesh; Gunda, Praveen; Martikainen, Janne (2019)
    Aim: This study assesses the cost-effectiveness of secukinumab vs currently licensed biologics for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) from the Finnish health care system perspective. Methods: A semi-Markov model compared secukinumab with adalimumab, adalimumab biosimilar, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, etanercept biosimilar, golimumab, and infliximab in a biologic-naive population over a lifetime horizon. The Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) was used to assess the treatment response. Efficacy inputs were obtained from the network meta-analysis, and other model inputs were obtained from the published literature and Finnish sources. Main study outcomes included quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio in terms of cost per QALY gained. Robustness of results was confirmed by sensitivity analyses and alternative scenario analyses. Results: Secukinumab achieved highest QALYs (13.1) at lowest expected lifetime cost (ss279,872) vs other comparators in biologic-naive AS patients in the base case analysis, thus it dominated other biologics. Golimumab had a second highest QALYs (12.9) at the total cost of ss309,551. Results were sensitive to variation in BASDAI 50 response for secukinumab, baseline Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) score across all drugs, change in BASDAI and BASFI scores, and discount rates as observed in the one-way sensitivity analyses. Secukinumab was either dominant or cost-effective treatment in different alternative scenarios. Conclusion: Secukinumab presented itself to be the dominant (ie, less costly and more effective) treatment vs other comparators for the biologic-naive patients with AS in Finland.
  • Raj, R.; Bendel, S.; Reinikainen, M.; Hoppu, S.; Laitio, R.; Ala-Kokko, T.; Curtze, S.; Skrifvars, M. B. (2018)
    Background: Neurocritical illness is a growing healthcare problem with profound socioeconomic effects. We assessed differences in healthcare costs and long-term outcome for different forms of neurocritical illnesses treated in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: We used the prospective Finnish Intensive Care Consortium database to identify all adult patients treated for traumatic brain injury (TBI), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and acute ischemic stroke (AIS) at university hospital ICUs in Finland during 2003-2013. Outcome variables were one-year mortality and permanent disability. Total healthcare costs included the index university hospital costs, rehabilitation hospital costs and social security costs up to one year. All costs were converted to euros based on the 2013 currency rate. Results: In total 7044 patients were included (44% with TBI, 13% with ICH, 27% with SAH, 16% with AIS). In comparison to TBI, ICH was associated with the highest risk of death and permanent disability (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.1-3.2 and OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.1), followed by AIS (OR 1.9, 95% CI 15-23 and OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.3-1.8) and SAH (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.5-2.1 and OR 0. 8, 95% CI 0.6-0.9), after adjusting for severity of illness. SAH was associated with the highest mean total costs ((sic)51,906) followed by ICH ((sic)47,661), TBI ((sic)43,916) and AIS ((sic)39222). Cost per independent survivor was lower for TBI ((sic)58,497) and SAH ((sic)96,369) compared to AIS ((sic)104,374) and ICH ((sic)178,071). Conclusion: Neurocritical illnesses are costly and resource-demanding diseases associated with poor outcomes. Intensive care of patients with TBI or SAH more commonly result in independent survivors and is associated with lower total treatments costs compared to ICH and AIS.
  • Agache, Ioana; Akdis, Cezmi; Akdis, Mubeccel; Canonica, Giorgio Walter; Casale, Thomas; Chivato, Tomas; Corren, Jonathan; Chu, Derek K.; Del Giacco, Stefano; Eiwegger, Thomas; Flood, Breda; Firinu, Davide; Gern, James E.; Hamelmann, Eckard; Hanania, Nicola; Hernandez-Martin, Irene; Knibb, Rebeca; Mäkelä, Mika; Nair, Parameswaran; O'Mahony, Liam; Papadopoulos, Nikolaos G.; Papi, Alberto; Park, Hae-Sim; Perez de Llano, Luis; Pfaar, Oliver; Quirce, Santiago; Sastre, Joaquin; Shamji, Mohamed; Schwarze, Jurgen; Palomares, Oscar; Jutel, Marek (2021)
    Severe asthma imposes a significant burden on patients, families and healthcare systems. Management is difficult, due to disease heterogeneity, co-morbidities, complexity in care pathways and differences between national or regional healthcare systems. Better understanding of the mechanisms has enabled a stratified approach to the management of severe asthma, supporting the use of targeted treatments with biologicals. However, there are still many issues that require further clarification. These include selection of a certain biological (as they all target overlapping disease phenotypes), the definition of response, strategies to enhance the responder rate, the duration of treatment and its regimen (in the clinic or home-based) and its cost-effectiveness. The EAACI Guidelines on the use of biologicals in severe asthma follow the GRADE approach in formulating recommendations for each biological and each outcome. In addition, a management algorithm for the use of biologicals in the clinic is proposed, together with future approaches and research priorities.
  • Martikainen, Janne; Lehtimaki, Aku-Ville; Jalkanen, Kari; Lavikainen, Piia; Paajanen, Teemu; Marjonen, Heidi; Kristiansson, Kati; Lindström, Jaana; Perola, Markus (2022)
    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) with increasing prevalence is a significant global public health challenge. Obesity, unhealthy diet, and low physical activity are one of the major determinants of the rise in T2D prevalence. In addition, family history and genetic risk of diabetes also play a role in the process of developing T2D. Therefore, solutions for the early identification of individuals at high risk for T2D for early targeted detection of T2D, prevention, and intervention are highly preferred. Recently, novel genomic-based polygenic risk scores (PRSs) have been suggested to improve the accuracy of risk prediction supporting the targeting of preventive interventions to those at highest risk for T2D. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the cost-utility of an additional PRS testing information (as a part of overall risk assessment) followed by a lifestyle intervention and an additional medical therapy when estimated 10-year overall risk for T2D exceeded 20% among Finnish individuals screened as at the high-risk category (i.e., 10%-20% 10-year overall risk of T2D) based on traditional risk factors only. For a cost-utility analysis, an individual-level state-transition model with probabilistic sensitivity analysis was constructed. A 1-year cycle length and a lifetime time horizon were applied in the base-case. A 3% discount rate was used for costs and QALYs. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curve (CEAC) and estimates for the expected value of perfect information (EVPI) were calculated to assist decision makers. The use of the targeted PRS strategy reclassified 12.4 percentage points of individuals to be very high-risk individuals who would have been originally classified as high risk using the usual strategy only. Over a lifetime horizon, the targeted PRS was a dominant strategy (i.e., less costly, more effective). One-way and scenario sensitivity analyses showed that results remained dominant in almost all simulations. However, there is uncertainty, since the probability (EVPI) of cost-effectiveness at a WTP of 0(sic)/QALY was 63.0% (243(sic)) indicating the probability that the PRS strategy is a dominant option. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that the PRS provides moderate additional value in Finnish population in risk screening leading to potential cost savings and better quality of life when compared with the current screening methods for T2D risk.
  • Kari, Heini; Äijö-Jensen, Nelli; Kortejärvi, Hanna; Ronkainen, Jukka; Yliperttula, Marjo; Laaksonen, Raisa; Blom, Marja (2022)
    Background There is a need for effective and cost-effective interprofessional care models that support older people to maintain their quality of life (QoL) and physical performance to live longer independently in their own homes. Objectives The objectives were to evaluate effectiveness, QoL and physical performance, and cost-utility of a people-centred care model (PCCM), including the contribution of clinically trained pharmacists, compared with that of usual care in primary care. Methods A randomised controlled trial (RCT) with a two-year follow-up was conducted. The participants were multimorbid community-living older people, aged ≥75 years. The intervention comprised an at-home patient interview, health review, pharmacist-led clinical medication review, an interprofessional team meeting, and nurse-led care coordination and health support. At the baseline and at the 1-year and 2-year follow-ups, QoL (SF-36, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey) and physical performance (SPPB, Short Performance Physical Battery) were measured. Additionally, a physical dimension component summary in the SF-36 was calculated. The SF-36 data were transformed into SF-6D scores to calculate quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Healthcare resource use were collected and transformed into costs. A healthcare payer perspective was adopted. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated, and one-way sensitivity analysis was performed. Results No statistically or clinically significant differences were observed between the usual care (n = 126) and intervention group (n = 151) patients in their QoL; at the 2-year follow-up the mean difference was −0.02, (95 % CI -0.07; 0.04,p = 0.56). While the mean difference between the groups in physical performance at the 2-year follow-up was −1.02, (−1.94;-0.10,p = 0.03), between the physical component summary scores it was −7.3, (−15.2; 0.6,p = 0.07). The ICER was −73 638€/QALY, hence, the developed PCCM dominated usual care, since it was more effective and less costly. Conclusions The cost-utility analysis showed that the PCCM including pharmacist-led medication review dominated usual care. However, it had no effect on QoL and the effect towards physical performance remained unclear.
  • Agache, Ioana; Song, Yang; Rocha, Claudio; Beltran, Jessica; Posso, Margarita; Steiner, Corinna; Alonso-Coello, Pablo; Akdis, Cezmi; Akdis, Mubeccel; Canonica, Giorgio Walter; Casale, Thomas; Chivato, Tomas; Corren, Jonathan; del Giacco, Stefano; Eiwegger, Thomas; Firinu, Davide; Gern, James E.; Hamelmann, Eckard; Hanania, Nicola; Mäkelä, Mika; Martin, Irene Hernandez; Nair, Parameswaran; O'Mahony, Liam; Papadopoulos, Nikolaos G.; Papi, Alberto; Park, Hae-Sim; de Llano, Luis Perez; Quirce, Santiago; Sastre, Joaquin; Shamji, Mohamed; Schwarze, Jurgen; Canelo-Aybar, Carlos; Palomares, Oscar; Jutel, Marek (2020)
    Dupilumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-4 receptor alpha, is approved as add-on maintenance treatment for inadequately controlled type 2 severe asthma. This systematic review evaluated the efficacy, safety and economic impact of dupilumab compared to standard of care for uncontrolled severe asthma. PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library were searched for RCTs and health economic evaluations. Critical and important asthma-related outcomes were evaluated. The risk of bias and the certainty of the evidence were assessed using GRADE. Three RCTs including 2735 subjects >12 years old and 24-52 weeks of follow-up were included. Dupilumab reduced with high certainty severe asthma exacerbations (Incidence rate ratio 0.51; 95% CI 0.45-0.59) and the percentage use of oral corticosteroid use (mean difference (MD) -28.2 mg/d; 95% CI -40.7 to -15.7). Asthma control (ACQ-5), quality of life (AQLQ) and rescue medication use [puffs/d] improved, without reaching the minimal important clinical difference: ACQ-5 MD -0.28 (95% CI -0.39 to -0.17); AQLQ MD +0.28 (95% CI 0.20-0.37); and rescue medication MD -0.35 (95% CI -0.73 to +0.02). FEV1 increased (MD +0.15; 95% CI +0.11 to +0.18) (moderate certainty). There was an increased rate of dupilumab-related adverse events (AEs) (moderate certainty) and of drug-related serious AEs (low certainty). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of dupilumab versus standard therapy was 464 000$/QALY (moderate certainty). More data on long-term safety are needed both for children and for adults, together with more efficacy data in the paediatric population.
  • Wikman, Essi (Helsingfors universitet, 2019)
    Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacterium that causes invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) such as bacteraemia and meningitis, and pneumonia. The prevalence of pneumococcal diseases is high in infants and in ≥65-year-olds. Also, the incidence of pneumococcal disease is higher in medical risk groups compared to the base population. Pneumococcal diseases can be prevented by vaccinations and since 2010 pneumococcal vaccine PCV10 has been in the national vaccination programme for infants in Finland. The aim for this study is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccinations in national vaccination programme for the 65-year-olds in medical risk groups (diabetes, chronic coronary artery disease, asthma and COPD). Secondary aim is to examine uncertainty factors that are related to economic evaluations of pneumococcal vaccinations in the elderly. Cost-utility analysis was used as the economic evaluation method. It is a method where health gains are measured by quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Static multicohort model was chosen for the modelling. Some of the used parameters were acquired from the literature and most of the epidemiology and cost parameters were acquired from research reports and articles published by National Institute for Health and Welfare. Analyses were made for both pneumococcal vaccines that are registered for adults (PCV13 and PPV23) and in 2 different scenarios: Finland’s present situation where PCV10 is in the vaccination programme for infants (scenario A), and hypothetical situation where PCV13 would be in the vaccination programme for infants (scenario B). Based on the analysis, when PCV10 was in the vaccination programme for infants (scenario A), vaccinating 65-year-olds in medical risk groups was cost saving intervention in the health care perspective for both vaccines in chronic coronary artery disease and asthma and COPD risk groups. In diabetes risk group the costs per QALY’s gained were 2 100 € in scenario A. When PCV13 was in the vaccination programme for infants (scenario B), costs per QALY’s gained for PCV13 vaccinations were: diabetes 52 400 €, chronic coronary artery disease 35 900 € and asthma and COPD 22 000 €. The uncertainty of results was tested with deterministic and probabilistic sensitive analysis. In scenario B the results were sensitive for the waning of the PCV13 produced immune protection, the price of the vaccine, the proportion of pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae, the changes in the pneumococcal disease incidences and the effect that pneumonia has for the health related quality of life. The cost-effectiveness of vaccinating 65-year-olds with pneumococcal vaccines was different depending on the risk group and on which pneumococcal vaccine is in the vaccination programme for infants. In addition, there are several uncertainty factors that have an impact on the results of economic evaluation of pneumococcal vaccinations.
  • Kallio, Varpu (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The purpose of this study is to evaluate patients' quality of life and healthcare use before and after bariatric surgery and produce new, clinical data-based information on the cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery. Healthcare resources are limited and expenditures have grown from year to year. Therefore it is important to make cost-effectiveness evaluations so that financial resources could be allocated properly. The research population consists of patients who have undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, during the years 2007-2009. The study population consists of 147 gastric bypass patients and 79 sleeve gastrectomy patients. In this study the decision analytic model, used in the Finohta study "Sairaalloisen lihavuuden leikkaushoito" was updated using actual, up-to-date information. The analysis was done using a decision tree and a Markov model with a time horizon of 10 years. The cost data in this study was based on actual data for the first two years after surgery. A forecast model was used to predict the costs for the years 3-10 after surgery. Patients' quality of life scores were based on real data for the years 1 (the year of operation) to 4. Quality of life scores for the other years were predicted. In the literature review section, international studies on the cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery and its impacts on drug therapy were evaluated. The studies showed that the use of medicines, which were used to treat obesity-related diseases were lower in the surgery group. However, drugs used to treat vitamin deficiencies, depression and gastrointestinal diseases were higher in the surgery group. Most studies found that surgery is the most cost-effective way to treat morbid obesity. This study confirms the role of the bariatric surgery in the treatment of morbid obesity in Finland. Even though the healthcare costs were increased in the first two years after the operation, the conclusions of the Finohta study didn't change. The bariatric surgery is cheaper and more effective than ordinary treatment and the most cost-effective way to treat morbid obesity. The mean costs were 30 309 € for the gastric bypass, 31 838 € for the sleeve gastectomy and 36 482 € for ordinary treatment. The mean numbers of quality-adjusted life-years were 6.919 for the gastric bypass, 6.920 for the sleeve gastrectomy and 6.661 for ordinary treatment. However, there is demand for more information for the long-term effects, benefits and risks of the surgery. How much the surgery will actually save money, will be hopefully clarified in the long-term follow-up study, which should also include an actual control group.
  • Lipsanen, Tuomas (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Medication review is relatively new intervention in Finland that potentially promotes safe and rational use of medicines. During the recent years, the effectiveness of different kind of medication review procedures has been evaluated in many countries. The results considering the cost-effectiveness have varied and conclusions have been difficult to make. Because of the limited resources, the funders and decisionmakers need evidence-based effectiveness data to get the best possible value for the money spent in health care. The aim of the study was to gather, analyze and summarize the published data of costeffectiveness of the medication review by means of a systematic review. The aim was also to represent the medication review as a concept, procedure and study objective. This study was conducted as an analysis of study methods applied in published studies on cost-effectiveness of medication review procedures. In total, 947 references were found using a systematic literature search covering three electronic databases (Medline, CRD and IPA). Most of the references were excluded based on titles and abstracts, and 85 full-text articles were evaluated. After the duplicates were removed, 11 articles met the requested inclusion criteria and were entered to the study. There was a lot of variation between selected articles. In five articles the description of the medication review was not detailed or the intervention was not equal to the expected content level. Also the outcomes measures used in the studies varied. Most studies measured the use of medicines or the number of drug-related problems in different ways. Quality of life was applied as an outcome measure only in five studies and none of the studies were able to show statistically significant differences between intervention and control groups. Mortality was measured in four studies. In most studies the definition and calculation of the costs was limited and inadequate for proper economic evaluation. It was also common that only the direct drug costs from patient's perspective were calculated. The cost of pharmacist's working hours was taken into account in five studies. The incremental analysis was performed only in one study which also got high quality scores compared to all other studies. On the whole the economic evaluations in the selected studies were of low quality and performed in simple a way.
  • Alakoski, Anna (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Finland. Health care costs increase annually and cost of cancer is significant to the society. Because resources are scarce more information is needed about the costs of diseases as well as treatment effectiveness. In addition to clinical effectiveness it is important to assess the value of healthcare technologies from the patient's point of view by measuring the treatment's effect on patients' quality of life. In this thesis a literature review was made on the following topics: cost of treating prostate cancer, prostate cancer patients' quality of life and cost-effectiveness of prostate cancer. The aim of the research was to determine what the drug costs are in relation to the total cost of treatment for prostate cancer in different stages of the disease and assess how the quality of life changes during the first year of treatment depending on the form of treatment. Drug costs were calculated from the health care payer's perspective in a six month cross-sectional study. The study population included a total of 629 prostate cancer patients treated in the Helsinki and Uudenmaa hospital district (HUS). The quality of life study population (N=367) was different of that used to calculate drug costs. The quality of life was measured according to an ongoing cost-effectiveness research at HUS. It was measured with 15D-instrument before receiving cancer treatment and three, six and twelve months after the beginning of treatment. Drug costs in relation to the total cost of prostate cancer treatment were significant. In patients with meta-static cancer drugs were 53 % of the total cost of cancer treatment. In remission patients the total costs of cancer treatment were the lowest compared to other diseases stages, but drug costs were still 30 % of the total costs. For patients receiving palliative treatment, local or relapse cancer patients, and patients whose cancer was just diagnosed, the total drug costs were 19%, 13% and 0%, respectively. Policlinic visits and policlinic procedures were also a significant cause of the total costs. Quality of life of prostate cancer patients is incredibly good compared to age-standardized population. However the patients' quality of life decreases statistically and clinically significantly during the first year of treatment. Before treatment 15D score was 0,91 and after 12 months it was 0,88. When assessed in different treatment groups the quality of life decreased the least in patients treated with waiting. The largest statistically significant change occurred in patients treated with radiation. The strength of the study is that the costs were calculated per patient according to real resource use. The study also had limitations. The costs of primary care were not included in the calculations. Also cancer related pain medication, depression and erectile dysfunction drugs should be included in the drug costs. The follow-up time of measuring quality of life was too short. In the future it would be important to study the cost-effectiveness of medication as well as the cost-effectiveness of the different forms of treatment in prostate cancer.
  • Järvinen, T. L. N.; Michaelsson, K.; Aspenberg, P.; Sievanen, H. (2015)
    Current prevention strategies for low-trauma fractures amongst older persons depend on the notions that fractures are mainly caused by osteoporosis (pathophysiology), that patients at high risk can be identified (screening) and that the risk is amenable to bone-targeted pharmacotherapy (treatment). However, all these three notions can be disputed. PathophysiologyMost fracture patients have fallen, but actually do not have osteoporosis. A high likelihood of falling, in turn, is attributable to an ageing-related decline in physical functioning and general frailty. ScreeningCurrently available fracture risk prediction strategies including bone densitometry and multifactorial prediction tools are unable to identify a large proportion of patients who will sustain a fracture, whereas many of those with a high fracture risk score will not sustain a fracture. TreatmentThe evidence for the viability of bone-targeted pharmacotherapy in preventing hip fracture and other clinical fragility fractures is mainly limited to women aged 65-80years with osteoporosis, whereas the proof of hip fracture-preventing efficacy in women over 80years of age and in men at all ages is meagre or absent. Further, the antihip fracture efficacy shown in clinical trials is absent in real-life studies. Many drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis have also been associated with increased risks of serious adverse events. There are also considerable uncertainties related to the efficacy of drug therapy in preventing clinical vertebral fractures, whereas the efficacy for preventing other fractures (relative risk reductions of 20-25%) remains moderate, particularly in terms of the low absolute risk reduction in fractures with this treatment.
  • Neittaanmäki-Perttu, Noora; Gronroos, Mari; Karppinen, Toni T.; Snellman, Erna; Rissanen, Pekka (2016)
    Daylight-mediated photodynamic therapy (DL-PDT) is considered as effective as conventional PDT using artificial light (light-emitting diode (LED)-PDT) for treatment of actinic keratoses (AK). This randomized prospective non-sponsored study assessed the cost-effectiveness of DL-PDT compared with LED-PDT. Seventy patients with 210 AKs were randomized to DL-PDT or LED-PDT groups. Effectiveness was assessed at 6 months. The costs included societal costs and private costs, including the time patients spent in treatment. Results are presented as incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The total costs per patient were significantly lower for DL-PDT ((sic) 132) compared with LED-PDT ((sic) 170), giving a cost saving of (sic)38 (p = 0.022). The estimated probabilities for patients' complete response were 0.429 for DL-PDT and 0.686 for LED-PDT; a difference in probability of being healed of 0.257. ICER showed a monetary gain of (sic) 147 per unit of effectiveness lost. DL-PDT is less costly and less effective than LED-PDT. In terms of cost-effectiveness analysis, DL-PDT provides lower value for money compared with LED-PDT.
  • Koivula, Teija (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arythmia. It has been estimated that there will be 14 to 17 million atrial fibrillation patients in Europe by the year 2030. In Finland, there are over 50 000 atrial fibrillation patients. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation increases by age. In addition to age, people who have hearth failure, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valvular hearth disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or who suffer from obesity have increased prevalence. Atrial fibrillation is usually not a life threatening condition. However, people who suffer from atrial fibrillation have a greater risk of the stroke compared with people who have normal sinus rhythm. Warfarin has been the standard treatment for preventing the stroke in atrial fibrillation patients. However, there are many inconveniences in warfarin therapy such as food and drug interactions and frequent laboratory visits. Therefore, new oral anticoagulants have been introduced to prevent the stroke in non-valvular atrial fibrillation. These new drugs apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban and rivaroxaban are more expensive than warfarin. Many people suffer from atrial fibrillation and the number of atrial fibrillation patients is increasing. Due to the expected increase in the number of atrial fibrillation patients in future the costs of the new drugs have led to a concern for their impact on the health care budget. The knowledge of the cost-effectiveness of the new anticoagulants is important for decision making. In this Master's thesis, the cost-effectiveness of rivaroxaban was compared with warfarin for stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Systematic literature review was used as the study method and 363 studies were screened and 23 of them filled the inclusion criteria. One was a previously published systematic review and 22 were cost-utility studies. All of the cost-utility studies had used decision analytic modelling. The studies were conducted in 13 different countries. In the cost-utility studies included in this systematic review there was a great variability in the cost-effectiveness of rivaroxaban compared with warfarin. Rivaroxaban was cost-effective in more than half of the studies, for example in Belgium, Italy, Norway and Singapore. However, in China, Thailand and Slovenia the cost-effectiveness could not be established. Contradictory cost-effectiveness results were obtained in studies conducted in Germany, Canada and USA. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio varied from 2580 € to 174915 € per quality adjusted life years (QALY) gained with warfarin over all the 22 cost-utility studies. In studies conducted in Europe the incremental cost effectiveness ratio varied from 4188 € 139163 €/QALY gained. In studies where rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran and warfarin were compared together using an indirect comparison or a network meta-analysis it seemed that rivaroxaban was not the optimal treatment. The most common adverse effect of anticoagulation treatment is bleeding. This complication was included in all the cost-utility studies. However, there was only some uniformity of the bleeding events reported. In most cost-utility studies the acute care cost of intracranial hemorrhages was reported and in many studies, also the long term costs. The cost-utility studies included in this systematic review were quite heterogeneous. Because they were done in different countries their health care settings, treatment options and costs were different. There were also differences in cost-effective models. Modell structure, settings, data and assumptions were different. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the studies, no unambiguous answer could be reached to the question concerning the cost-effectiveness of rivaroxaban compared with warfarin. The quality assessment of the cost-utility studies revealed that some quality criteria were not met. Transferability of the results from one country to the other seemed to be poor. The strength of this master's thesis is the comprehensive literature search concerning the cost-effectiveness of rivaroxaban compared with warfarin. Also, the reporting of methods and results are transparent. There are also limitations in this study. One person was conducting the literature search, data extraction and quality assessment. This might have increased the risk for subjective interpretations and errors.
  • Raj, Rahul; Bendel, Stepani; Reinikainen, Matti; Hoppu, Sanna; Luoto, Teemu; Ala-Kokko, Tero; Tetri, Sami; Laitio, Ruut; Koivisto, Timo; Rinne, Jaakko; Kivisaari, Riku; Siironen, Jari; Higgins, Alisa; Skrifvars, Markus B. (2018)
    Objective: To assess temporal trends in 1-year healthcare costs and outcome of intensive care for traumatic brain injury in Finland. Design: Retrospective observational cohort study. Setting: Multicenter study including four tertiary ICUs. Patients: Three thousand fifty-one adult patients (>= 18 yr) with significant traumatic brain injury treated in a tertiary ICU during 2003-2013. Intervention: None. Measurements and Main Results: Total 1-year healthcare costs included the index hospitalization costs, rehabilitation unit costs, and social security reimbursements. All costs are reported as 2013 U.S. dollars ($). Outcomes were 1-year mortality and permanent disability. Multivariate regression models, adjusting for case-mix, were used to assess temporal trends in costs and outcome in predefined Glasgow Coma Scale (3-8, 9-12, and 13-15) and age (18-40, 41-64, and >= 65 yr) subgroups. Overall 1-year survival was 76% (n = 2,304), and of 1-year survivors, 37% (n = 850) were permanently disabled. Mean unadjusted 1-year healthcare cost was $39,809 (95% CI, $38,144-$41,473) per patient. Adjusted healthcare costs decreased only in the Glasgow Coma Scale 13-15 and 65 years and older subgroups, due to lower rehabilitation costs. Adjusted 1-year mortality did not change in any subgroup (p <0.05 for all subgroups). Adjusted risk of permanent disability decreased significantly in all subgroups (p <0.05). Conclusion: During the last decade, healthcare costs of ICU-admitted traumatic brain injury patients have remained largely the same in Finland. No change in mortality was noted, but the risk for permanent disability decreased significantly. Thus, our results suggest that cost-effectiveness of traumatic brain injury care has improved during the past decade in Finland.
  • Kilpi, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study explores a recently emerged financing innovation, social impact bonds (SIBs). The model of social impact bonds is essentially a financing mechanism with an objective to gather private capital to fund prevention-focused social programs. The model functions by connecting multiple actors into an arrangement, in which each counterparty is incentivized to pursue successfully intervening a social problem. The objective of this study was to synthesize the economic evidence documented in the literature in order to gain a realistic into the feasibility of the SIB model for targeting social welfare issues. The primary research question was: What is the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of SIBs compared to alternative social sector expenditure of public funds? Answers to the research question were sought through a systematic literature review. The search was restricted to English-language papers published between 1 January and 31 March 2019. Both academic papers and grey literature reports were included. A defined set of databases was searched using the search terms social impact bonds AND (cost OR effectiveness OR finance). The titles and abstracts of the identified papers were screened. A paper was excluded from further review, if it did not refer to SIBs or address the primary research question. Of the 520 papers screened, 27 fulfilled the criteria for full-text review. In the full-text review, a paper was excluded, if it was not considered to address the primary research question by providing a systematic approach to the economic aspects of SIBs. A qualitative systematic narrative was created of the finally selected 3 studies. The three selected studies approach from somewhat different angles. Liebman (2011) views SIBs as a potential tool to improve performance of the government agencies and to increase social sector innovation. Goldberg (2017) sees SIBs as a channel to gather financing for evidence-based social programs. Pauly and Swanson (2017) are slightly sceptical about the additional value created by the SIB model and consider the feasibility of SIBs as a financing mechanism strongly context-dependent. These qualitative results indicate that the application of the SIB model has the potential to result in improved social sector performance. While the feasibility of SIBs is viewed to be context-dependent, they are evaluated to lead to improved overall social outcomes by introducing an approach to manage with social problems from the perspective of a longer time horizon.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Sutherland, William J. (2017)
    In conservation, as in most other subjects, there is a division of expenditure into problem identification, solution testing, and practice. However, research concentrates on problem identification rather than solution testing. We calculate the return on the investment of research (a PhD thesis) examining the effectiveness of conservation interventions for birds of prey in three European countries. We show that the economic return from investing in a PhD thesis could be substantial, in the order of hundreds of thousands euros over 10 years or a return on investment of between 292% and 326% over that period. We derived the values of return on investment by first setting a common biological target (the total number of raptor fledglings produced per year). We then compared overall costs in achieving such target via the wide implementation of the results from the thesis (i.e., allocating resources to the most effective intervention) versus a business as usual scenario. We identify other theses that also show considerable benefits in improving effectiveness. We suggest that further research examining effectiveness would be cost-effective in improving practice.
  • Konttinen, Riikka (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Hepatitis C virus disease is transmitted through blood. Chronic hepatitis C causes liver damages such as liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is estimated that there are approximately 20 000 - 30 000 patients infected with hepatitis C virus in Finland. For many years pegylated interferon and ribavirin has been standard of care. However standard of care causes side effects and an adequate treatment response can't be achieved with it. There have been effective direct-acting antivirals available on market which are directed against structural proteins and enzymes of the virus from 2014 onward. These second generation direct-acting antivirals are effective, safe and well tolerated. The only disadvantage is the high price of these medicines which restricts them for severe liver damage patients. More information about cost-effectiveness of second generation direct-acting antivirals is needed to support the decision making. The aim of this master thesis is to describe current care, guidelines, and costs of hepatitis C in Finland. Thesis also describes the principles of economic evaluation and systematic literature review. The purpose of the thesis is to assess cost-effectiveness of second generation direct-acting antivirals versus standard of care in treating of hepatitis C by means of systematic literature review and evaluate the quality of cost-effectiveness analyses. Previously published studies were used to analyze the cost-effectiveness of second generation direct-acting antivirals. In total of 435 references were found through systematic literature search. In addition, two studies were found from the bibliographies of already included studies. Altogether 26 studies were included in the systematic review of which 25 were original studies and one was previously published systematic literature review. The most relevant data of the studies was gathered and analyzed. The quality of the studies was assessed by using three checklists. It is difficult to make conclusions about cost-effectiveness of second generation direct-acting antivirals based on previously published reviews because only one review was found through systematic literature search. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of second generation direct-acting antivirals varied between dominance and 1 135 655 € /QALY compared to standard of care. When compared to another second generation direct-acting antiviral, ICER of second generation direct-acting antivirals varied between dominance and 65 281 € /QALY. It was also analyzed how stage of liver damage affects the incremental costeffectiveness of second generation direct-acting antivirals. The ICER of second generation direct-acting antivirals was between 299 € - 85 195 € /QALY when treating patients with cirrhosis. When treating non-cirrhotic patients, the ICER of second generation direct-acting antivirals was between 2182 € - 177 679 € /QALY.The connection between funder of the study and the ICER of second generation direct-acting antivirals was also analyzed. The ICER was 1717 € - 86 056 € /QALY in studies funded by pharmaceutical company. The ICER was 299 € - 1 135 655 € /QALY in studies funded by other party. Based on the results of the thesis second generation direct-acting antivirals might be cost-effective compared to current standard of care in treating hepatitis C. The cost-effectiveness ratio of second generation direct-acting antivirals is lower in cirrhotic patients than in non-cirrhotic patients. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is lower when pharmaceutical company funds a study. The quality of the cost-effectiveness analyses included in the thesis varied greatly which makes it difficult to draw conclusions and interpretate the results. This study has several strengths. First, literature search was conducted systematically and transparently. Second, quality of the reviewed studies included was assessed by care. Finally, reporting of the results is transparent and repeatable. The study has also some limitations. Selection of the reviewed studies, data extraction and quality assessment of the studies was conducted by one person which may increase the possibility of human error.