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      Cost-effectiveness comparison of lamivudine plus adefovir combination treatment and nucleos(t)ide analog monotherapies in Chinese chronic hepatitis B patients

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          Lamivudine (LAM) plus adefovir (ADV) combination therapy is clinically efficacious for treating chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients in China, but no pharmacoeconomic evaluations of this strategy are available. The aim of this study was to examine the cost-effectiveness of LAM plus ADV combination treatment compared with five other nucleos(t)ide analog monotherapies (LAM, ADV, telbivudine [TBV], entecavir [ETV], and tenofovir [TDF]).


          To simulate the lifetime (40-year time span) costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for different therapy options, a Markov model that included five initial monotherapies and LAM plus ADV combination as an initial treatment was developed. Two kinds of rescue combination strategies (base-case: LAM + ADV then ETV + ADV; alternative: direct use of ETV + ADV) were considered separately for treating patients refractory to initial therapy. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were used to explore model uncertainties.


          In base-case analysis, ETV had the lowest lifetime cost and served as the reference therapy. Compared to the reference, LAM, ADV, and TBV had higher costs and lower efficacy, and were completely dominated by ETV. LAM plus ADV combination therapy or TDF was more efficacious than ETV, but also more expensive. Although the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of combination therapy or TDF were both higher than the willingness-to-pay threshold of $20,466/QALY gained for the reference treatment, in an alternative scenario analysis LAM plus ADV combination therapy would be the preferable treatment option.


          ETV and LAM plus ADV combination therapy are both cost-effective strategies for treating Chinese CHB patients.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B: a 2008 update

          Large amounts of new data on the natural history and treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have become available since 2005. These include long-term follow-up studies in large community-based cohorts or asymptomatic subjects with chronic HBV infection, further studies on the role of HBV genotype/naturally occurring HBV mutations, treatment of drug resistance and new therapies. In addition, Pegylated interferon α2a, entecavir and telbivudine have been approved globally. To update HBV management guidelines, relevant new data were reviewed and assessed by experts from the region, and the significance of the reported findings were discussed and debated. The earlier “Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B” was revised accordingly. The key terms used in the statement were also defined. The new guidelines include general management, special indications for liver biopsy in patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase, time to start or stop drug therapy, choice of drug to initiate therapy, when and how to monitor the patients during and after stopping drug therapy. Recommendations on the therapy of patients in special circumstances, including women in childbearing age, patients with antiviral drug resistance, concurrent viral infection, hepatic decompensation, patients receiving immune-suppressive medications or chemotherapy and patients in the setting of liver transplantation, are also included.
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            Hepatitis B virus DNA levels and outcomes in chronic hepatitis B.

            Serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels can fluctuate markedly during the course of chronic HBV infection. Both case-control and cohort studies have shown a significant, dose-response association between serum HBV DNA levels measured at the time of initial evaluation and the subsequent risk of cirrhosis. A similar direct relationship has been shown for the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies. Interventional studies have shown a strong correlation between the indices of disease activity seen on liver biopsy and levels of serum HBV DNA. These studies have also shown that reduction in HBV DNA levels correlate strongly with improvements in liver histology. For patients with HCC, prognosis (including risk of death, metastasis, and recurrence following surgery) is worse with higher serum HBV DNA levels. The preponderance of the evidence in the published literature demonstrates that serum HBV DNA level is an important and independent risk factor for disease progression in chronic hepatitis B. The relative importance of serial HBV DNA measurements, the loss of hepatitis B e and surface antigens, as well as the emergence of HBV mutants in the progression of chronic hepatitis B, especially in young patients, is an important need for future research.
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              Telbivudine versus lamivudine in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B: Results at 1 year of a randomized, double-blind trial.

              Chronic hepatitis B and its life-threatening sequelae are highly prevalent in China. There is a need for effective new therapies to suppress hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication and ameliorate liver disease. In this study, we compared the efficacy of telbivudine, a nucleoside analogue, with lamivudine in Chinese patients. In this phase III, double-blind, multicenter trial conducted in China, 332 patients with compensated hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive or HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B were randomly assigned to treatment with 600 mg of telbivudine or 100 mg of lamivudine daily for 104 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was reduction in serum HBV DNA levels at week 52 of treatment. Secondary endpoints included clearance of HBV DNA to undetectable levels, HBeAg loss and seroconversion, therapeutic response, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization. Viral resistance and safety were assessed. At week 52, among 290 HBeAg-positive patients, mean reductions of serum HBV DNA were significantly greater in telbivudine recipients than lamivudine recipients (6.3 log(10) versus 5.5 log(10), P < 0.001), and HBV DNA was polymerase chain reaction-negative in significantly more telbivudine recipients than lamivudine recipients (67% versus 38%, P < 0.001). ALT normalization (87% versus 75%, P = 0.007), therapeutic response (85% versus 62%, P = 0.001), and HBeAg loss (31% versus 20%, P = 0.047) were also significantly more common in the telbivudine group. Treatment effects showed similar patterns in the smaller HBeAg-negative group (n = 42). Viral resistance in telbivudine recipients was approximately half that observed with lamivudine; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Clinical adverse events were similar in the two treatment groups. In Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B, telbivudine treatment for 52 weeks provided greater antiviral and clinical efficacy than lamivudine, with less resistance.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                01 March 2016
                : 10
                : 897-910
                Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yi Yang, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Jianghai Avenue 283, Guangzhou 510310, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 20 3405 5802, Fax +86 20 3405 5355, Email yangyigz@ 123456163.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2016 Zhang et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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