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Objectives

Endovascular therapy (EVT) has proven to be clinically effective in treating large vessel occlusion acute ischaemic stroke (AIS), either alone or in combination with intravenous alteplase. Despite this, there is a limited evidence on the cost-effectiveness of EVT in Thailand and other low-income and middle-income countries. This study aims to assess whether EVT is a cost-effective therapy for AIS, and to estimate the fiscal burden to the Thai government through budget impact analysis.

Methods

An economic evaluation was performed to compare AIS therapy with and without EVT from a societal perspective. The primary outcome was incremental cost-effectiveness per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Clinical parameters were derived from both national and international literature, while cost and utility data were collected locally. The analysis applied a cost-effectiveness threshold of 160 000 Baht (~$5000) per QALY, as set by the Thai government.

Results

Both EVT alone and EVT combined with intravenous alteplase, among patients who are ineligible and eligible for intravenous alteplase, respectively, improved health outcomes but incurred additional cost. The combination of EVT and intravenous alteplase was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of 146 800 THB per QALY gained compared with intravenous alteplase alone, and the ICER of EVT alone compared with supportive care among patients ineligible for intravenous alteplase was estimated at 115 000 THB per QALY gained. Sensitivity analysis showed that the price of EVT has the greatest impact on model outcomes. Over a time horizon of 5 years, the introduction of EVT into the Thai health benefit package would require an additional budget of 887 million THB, assuming 2000 new cases per year.

Conclusions

EVT represents good value for money in the Thai context, both when provided to patients eligible for intravenous alteplase, and when provided alone to those who are ineligible for intravenous alteplase.

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Open access, Health economics

BMJ Open Current Issue

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