Cost-Effectiveness of Erythropoietin in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multinational Trial-Based Economic Analysis.
Knott RJ., Harris A., Higgins A., Nichol A., French C., Little L., Haddad S., Presneill J., Arabi Y., Bailey M., Cooper DJ., Duranteau J., Huet O., Mak A., McArthur C., Pettilä V., Skrifvars MB., Vallance S., Varma D., Wills J., Bellomo R.
The EPO-TBI multi-national randomized controlled trial found that erythropoietin (EPO), when compared to placebo, did not affect 6-month neurological outcome, but reduced illness severity-adjusted mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), making the cost-effectiveness of EPO in TBI uncertain. The current study uses patient-level data from the EPO-TBI trial to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of EPO in patients with moderate or severe TBI from the healthcare payers' perspective. We addressed the issue of transferability in multi-national trials by estimating costs and effects for specific geographical regions of the study (Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and Saudi Arabia). Unadjusted mean quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs; 95% confidence interval [CI]) at 6 months were 0.027 (0.020-0.034; p p = 0.04). Mean unadjusted costs (95% CI) were $US5668 (-9191 to -2144; p = 0.002) lower in the treatment group; controlling for baseline IMPACT-TBI score and regional heterogeneity reduced this difference to $2377 (-12,446 to 7693; p = 0.64). For a willingness-to-pay threshold of $US50,000 per QALY, 71.8% of replications were considered cost-effective. Therefore, we did not find evidence that EPO was significantly cost-effective in the treatment of moderate or severe TBI at 6-month follow-up.