A review of cost-effectiveness of varenicline and comparison of cost-effectiveness of treatments for major smoking-related morbidities
Rationale? This review aims to examine economic evaluations of varenicline, to compare the reported cost-effectiveness of varenicline with that of treatments for major smoking-related diseases and to evaluate the findings for decision making.
Methods? A literature search was performed to identify published articles in English indexed in MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2009), which includes the Economic Evaluation Database. Additional sources also were searched to identify unpublished varenicline studies, including conference abstracts. The search for varenicline studies was limited from 2006 to October 2009; searches for all other types of studies were limited from 1990 to October 2009.
Results? The search yielded a total of 20 relevant economic evaluations of varenicline. In addition, 37 reviews of economic evaluations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, non-small cell lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as studies evaluating the impact of economic rewarding were considered in this review. From these identified economic evaluations, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for varenicline ranged from dominance (more effective and cost saving) to €18 582 per quality-adjusted life-year (including indirect costs). These estimates appeared substantially lower when compared with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios reported for secondary prevention of smoking-related diseases, which in some cases were as high as €66 218 per quality-adjusted life-year.
Conclusions? Varenicline appears to be cost-effective from the perspective of both health care payers and employers, because of reduced health care consumption and costs. The cost-effectiveness of varenicline also compares favourably to that of interventions recommended for the treatment and prevention of smoking-related diseases.