Does directly administered antiretroviral therapy represent good value for money in sub-Saharan Africa? A cost-utility and value of information analysis

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Background: Successful antiretroviral therapy (ART) relies on the optimal level of ART adherence to achieve reliable viral suppression, avert HIV drug resistance, and prevent avoidable deaths. It has been shown that there are various groups of people living with HIV at high-risk of non-adherence to ART in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to examine the cost effectiveness and value-of-information of directly administered antiretroviral therapy (DAART) versus self-administered ART among people living with HIV, at high risk of non-adherence to ART in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods and Findings: A Markov model was developed that describes the transition between HIV stages based on the CD4 count, along with direct costs, quality of life and the mortality rate associated with DAART in comparison with self-administered ART. Data used in the model were derived from the published literature. A health system perspective was employed using a life-time time horizon. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the impact of parameter uncertainty. Value of information analysis was also conducted. The expected cost of self-administered ART and DAART were $5,200 and $15,500 and the expected QALYs gained were 8.52 and 9.75 respectively, giving an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of $8,400 per QALY gained. The analysis demonstrated that the annual cost DAART needs to be priced below $200 per patient to be cost-effective. The probability that DAART was cost-effective was 1% for a willingness to pay threshold of $5,096 for sub-Saharan Africa. The value of information associated with the cost of DAART and its effectiveness was substantial.

Conclusions: From the perspective of the health care payer in sub-Saharan Africa, DAART cannot be regarded as cost-effective based on current information. The value of information analysis showed that further research will be worthwhile and potentially cost-effective in resolving the uncertainty about whether or not to adopt DAART.


Original languageEnglish
Article number0191465
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2018