Cost-effectiveness and impact of five different point of care strategies to preserve last line treatment for gonorrhoea

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has developed to every class of antibiotic used for the treatment of gonorrhoea – and in recent years several multi-drug resistant strains of gonorrhoea have been reported in the UK and elsewhere. Once the prevalence of resistance to a first-line treatment reaches 5%, an alternative drug is selected as first-line treatment. In the UK, as with many other countries, ceftriaxone is the current first-line treatment for gonorrhoea. There are few alternative treatments available should ceftriaxone resistance become widespread and therefore steps are being taken to preserve the effectiveness of ceftriaxone by avoiding its use for infections that could be treated using other antibiotics.

Aquarius was commissioned by the Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit (ADREU) at St. Georges London to compare the cost and effectiveness of five different strategies to test for antibiotic susceptibility in NG infections. We developed a decision tree model to assess how point-of-care (POC) testing could be used to diagnose gonorrhoea and at the same time test for antibody susceptibility, allowing the use of previously abandoned antibiotics for the majority of patients, thereby sparing ceftriaxone use.

The results of the model showed that all five strategies cost more than the current strategy of not testing for AMR. The paper concludes that AMR POC testing may enable improved antibiotic stewardship but would require investment into the health system.

The article was published in October in Eurosurveillance and is available free online [link].

Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Harvey MJ, Weston G, Broad CE, Adams EJ, et al. Antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing for gonorrhoea treatment regimens: cost-effectiveness and impact on ceftriaxone use of five hypothetical strategies compared with standard care in England sexual health clinics. Eurosurveillance [Internet]. 2020;25(43). Available from: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.43.1900402

Cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing for optimising gonorrhoea treatment

In July, Emma Harding-Esch spoke at the STI and HIV World Congress in Rio on how to best manage the increasing challenge of anti-microbial resistance (AMR). The research she presented was a collaboration between Aquarius Population Health and ADREU St. Georges.  In recent years, there has been an increase in resistance to first-line therapies used to treat STIs such as gonorrhoea. The Aquarius team built a decision tree model to assess the cost-effectiveness of standard care compared to several hypothetical rapid point-of-care tests (POCT) for antibiotic susceptibility. The model simulated a cohort of sexual health clinic attendees. The results showed that while standard care is the cheapest option, AMR POCTs may be cost-effective and maximise the number of effective agents in treatment regimens, providing long-term benefits in some scenarios.

Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Harvey MJ, et al. Cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing for optimising the treatment of gonorrhoea STI & HIV World Congress. 9-12 July 2017. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

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Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease

We developed a framework to help clinicians and decision-makers think systematically about how to compare patient management options whilst considering the full costs to the healthcare provider, and a toolkit based on this framework for patients with invasive fungal infection in England. Adopting this framework can help healthcare providers move towards a more holistic understanding of drug treatment and management costs that may help the NHS save money, freeing up resources for better health care.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Kendall E, Horner J, et al. Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease. ECCMID 2015. 25 – 28 April 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

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Managing Mycoplasma genitalium as an STI

Mycoplasma genitalium is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection that causes significant morbidity in men and women and is a co-factor in HIV transmission. However, commercial diagnostic tests are not generally available for M. genitalium and sub-optimal treatment is often given. Diagnostic tests are needed to reduce the risk of the development of antimicrobial resistance and improve patient care.

publication_iconHorner P, Blee K, Adams E. Time to manage Mycoplasma genitalium as an STI: but not with azithromycin 1g! Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2014; 27:1:68-74.

 

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The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study

Switching to cheaper generic antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients may appear cost saving over fixed-dose combinations, and be an appealing way to reduce healthcare costs. However, the additional clinical costs may outweigh the initial cost savings of the drugs, and switching may cause confusion for some patients, risking loss of adherence. Our analysis provides evidence that can help commissioners make better policy decisions about drug provision.

publication_iconTaylor R, Carlin E, Sadique Z, Ahmed I, Adams EJ. The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study. Int J STD AIDS 0956462414530588, first published on April 3, 2014 as doi:10.1177/0956462414530588

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The cost of managing haematology patients with invasive fungal disease

We aimed to estimate the cost of care for patients with invasive fungal disease (IFD) in England. We analysed prospectively collected data from adult haematology patients in a large hospital in London. We found that the attributable cost of managing IFD was greater than £50,000 per case, with the inpatient stay accounting for 3/4 of costs. Costs for inpatient stay far outstrip the cost of antifungal drugs.

publication_iconCeesay MM, Sadique Z, Harris, R, Ehrlich A, Adams EJ, Pagliuca A.
Prospective Evaluation Of The Cost Of Diagnosis And Treatment Of Invasive Fungal Disease In A Cohort Of Adult Haematology Patients In The United Kingdom. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2014; doi: 10.1093/jac/dku506.

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