Current medical research and opinion vol:24 issue:3 pages:737-751
OBJECTIVE: This article assesses the cost-effectiveness of outpatient antimicrobial treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) taking into account resistance in Belgium. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Our decision analytic model focused on mild to moderate CAP, but did not consider severe CAP. Treatment pathways reflected empirical treatment initiated in the absence of data on CAP aetiology. First-line treatment consisted of moxifloxacin, co-amoxiclav, cefuroxime or clarithromycin. If first-line treatment was unsuccessful, patients were either hospitalised or second-line treatment with a different antimicrobial was initiated. Clinical failure rates were obtained from the published literature or expert opinion. Costs were calculated using published sources from the third-party payer perspective. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Effectiveness measures included first-line clinical failure avoided, second-line treatment avoided, hospitalisation avoided and death avoided. Healthcare costs were included, but costs of productivity loss were not considered. RESULTS: Costs of treating a CAP episode amounted to 144euro with moxifloxacin/co-amoxiclav; 222euro with co-amoxiclav/clarithromycin; 211euro with cefuroxime/moxifloxacin; and 193euro with clarithromycin/moxifloxacin. The rate of first-line failure was 5%, 16%, 19% and 18% for these four treatment strategies, respectively. The rate of second-line treatment amounted to 4%, 13%, 16% and 15%, respectively. The hospitalisation rate was 1%, 4%, 4% and 4%, respectively. The death rate was 0.01%, 0.04%, 0.03% and 0.03%, respectively. Sensitivity analyses supported the dominance of moxifloxacin/co-amoxiclav in nearly all scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: First-line treatment of CAP patients with moxifloxacin followed by co-amoxiclav or hospitalisation if required was more effective and less costly as compared with first-line treatment with co-amoxiclav, cefuroxime or clarithromycin.