An Economic Evaluation of the Posttreatment Prophylactic Effect of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine Versus Artemether-Lumefantrine for First-Line Treatment of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Across Different Transmission Settings in Africa

Pfeil J, Borrmann S, Bassat Q, Mulenga M, Talisuna A, Tozan Y
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015;93

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Malaria disproportionately affects young children. Clinical trials in African children showed that dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is an effective antimalarial and has a longer posttreatment prophylactic (PTP) effect against reinfections than other artemisinin-based combination therapies, including artemether-lumefantrine (AL). Using a previously developed Markov model and individual patient data from a multicenter African drug efficacy trial, we assessed the economic value of the PTP effect of DP versus AL in pediatric malaria patients from health-care provider's perspective in low-to-moderate and moderate-to-high transmission settings under different drug co-payment scenarios. In low-to-moderate transmission settings, first-line treatment with DP was highly cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of US$5 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -76 to 196) per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted. In moderate-to-high transmission settings, DP first-line treatment led to a mean cost saving of US$1.09 (95% CI = -0.88 to 3.85) and averted 0.05 (95% CI = -0.08 to 0.22) DALYs per child per year. Our results suggested that DP might be superior to AL for first-line treatment of uncomplicated childhood malaria across a range of transmission settings in Africa.