Cost-effectiveness of Helicobacter pylori eradication for the long-term management of duodenal ulcer in Canada
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BACKGROUND: A 1994 National Institutes of Health consensus panel recommended that eradication of Helicobacter pylori should be first-line therapy for persons with duodenal ulcer. OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost-effectiveness of H pylori eradication relative to alternative pharmacologic strategies in the long-term management of persons with confirmed duodenal ulcer. METHODS: Decision analysis model to estimate expected costs and symptomatic ulcer recurrences during a 12-month period for three general treatment strategies: (1) immediate H pylori eradication; (2) H pylori eradication at first ulcer recurrence; and (3) continuous maintenance therapy with a histamine2 receptor antagonist (ranitidine hydrochloride). Two H pylori eradication therapies were compared: classic triple therapy and omeprazole plus amoxicillin. Probabilities for ulcer recurrence are by meta-analysis of published randomized trials. Health care resources used in the management of duodenal ulcer recurrence were by expert physician panel. All costs are in 1993 Canadian dollars. RESULTS: Duodenal ulcer recurrence at 6 months (symptomatic and asymptomatic) with placebo was 65.4% and 12.8% with maintenance ranitidine therapy. Where eradication of H pylori was successful (85% of patients), the ulcer recurrence rate to 12 months was 3.7%. Treatment with ranitidine and triple therapy to eradicate H pylori on first presentation has an expected 1-year cost of $253 with 15 symptomatic recurrences per 100 patients; H pylori eradication by omeprazole plus amoxicillin had similar expected costs ($272) and outcomes (15 recurrences per 100 patients). Both of these early H pylori eradication strategies were dominant (less costly with same or better outcomes) over intermittent or continuous maintenance ranitidine therapy or delayed (after first recurrence) H pylori eradication. CONCLUSION: Our analysis provides economic evidence in support of the recent guidance that for persons with duodenal ulcer, early attempts to eradicate H pylori are recommended.
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