Improving medication adherence among children with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) has the potential to reduce relapse rates but requires an investment in resources. An economic evaluation is needed to understand the potential costs and benefits of delivering adherence-promotion interventions (APIs) as part of standard clinical care.
A Markov decision analytic model was used to simulate the potential incremental cost-effectiveness per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) to be gained from an API for children with B-ALL in first continuous remission compared with treatment as usual (TAU, no intervention). Model parameter estimates were informed by previously published studies. The primary outcome was incremental cost (2015 US$) per QALY gained for API compared with TAU.
The model predicts the API to result in superior health outcomes (4.87 vs. 4.86 QALYs) and cost savings ($43,540.73 vs. $46,675.71) as compared with TAU, and simulations indicate that, across a range of plausible parameter estimates, there is a 95% chance that the API is more effective and less costly than TAU. The API was estimated to remain more effective and less costly than TAU in situations where the prevalence of nonadherence exceeds 32% and when API improves baseline adherence in at least 3% of patients.
Providing APIs to children with B-ALL may improve health outcomes and save costs over a 6-year period.