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Economic analysis of temperature-controlled laminar airflow (TLA) for the treatment of patients with severe persistent allergic asthma

Abstract

Introduction Chronic asthma is a significant burden for individual sufferers, adversely impacting their quality of working and social life, as well as being a major cost to the National Health Service (NHS). Temperature-controlled laminar airflow (TLA) therapy provides asthma patients at BTS/SIGN step 4/5 an add-on treatment option that is non-invasive and has been shown in clinical studies to improve quality of life for patients with poorly controlled allergic asthma. The objective of this study was to quantify the cost-effectiveness of TLA (Airsonett AB) technology as an add-on to standard asthma management drug therapy in the UK.

Methods The main performance measure of interest is the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) for patients using TLA in addition to usual care versus usual care alone. The incremental cost of TLA use is based on an observational clinical study monitoring the incidence of exacerbations with treatment valued using NHS cost data. The clinical effectiveness, used to derive the incremental QALY data, is based on a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial comprising participants with an equivalent asthma condition.

Results For a clinical cohort of asthma patients as a whole, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is £8998 per QALY gained, that is, within the £20 000/QALY cost-effectiveness benchmark used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Sensitivity analysis indicates that ICER values range from £18 883/QALY for the least severe patients through to TLA being dominant, that is, cost saving as well as improving quality of life, for individuals with the most severe and poorly controlled asthma.

Conclusions Based on our results, Airsonett TLA is a cost-effective addition to treatment options for stage 4/5 patients. For high-risk individuals with more severe and less well controlled asthma, the use of TLA therapy to reduce incidence of hospitalisation would be a cost saving to the NHS.

  • Asthma
  • Health Economist

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