Antiretroviral Resistance Testing Saves Costs

During HIV treatment resistance mutations of the virus to antiretroviral drugs may occur and the treatment regimen become less effective. In the present study the authors compared the cost-effectiveness of genotypic antiretroviral resistance testing versus expert opinion for treatment optimization in HIV infected patients with treatment failure.

The study is based on data from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study which is one of the largest cohort studies on HIV disease including patients from all University Clinics and two state hospitals in Switzerland. In this study, both health care costs and productivity costs, in other words costs due to absence from work because of ill-health, were included in the analysis. The authors could show that antiretroviral resistance testing not only increases life expectancy and quality-of-life, but also results in cost savings to society.

„This is the first study that shows that resistance testing not only improves the health of the patients but is also beneficial to the society at large when job productivity changes are considered“, said Pedram Sendi, first author and principal investigator, from the Clinic of Infectious Diseases & Hospital Epidemiology of the Basel University Hospital.

In times of increasing pressures to contain health care costs cost-effectiveness analyses are an important source of information to evaluate whether health interventions represent „value for money“. This may help to prioritize resource allocation in health care by finding those health technologies that offer the most health outcomes for the resources invested.; Source: PLoS ONE