Objectives: To evaluate the value of genotype-based dosing by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based polymorphism screening in terms of cost-effectiveness for treatment with azathioprine in Korea.
Methods: Decision analysis was employed to compare a genotype-based dosing strategy with the conventional weight-based dosing strategy using a hypothetical cohort composed of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus patients. The time horizon was set up as 1 yr. Direct medical costs were used. Data used were obtained from previous reports, except for PCR and admission costs, which were from real cases. Cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted from a societal perspective. Outcomes were measured as a total expected cost and an incremental cost-effective ratio.
Results: In the base case model, total expected cost and the probability of not dropping out owing to serious adverse events of the conventional weight-based dosing and the genotype-based dosing strategy were 1339 x 10(3) Korean won (1,117 US dollars) and 1109 x 10(3) Korean won (926 US dollars), and 97.06 and 99.90%, respectively.
Conclusions: Our model suggests that a genotype-based dosing strategy through PCR-based thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) polymorphism screening is less costly and more effective than the conventional weight-based dosing strategy in Korea, as it was associated with a marked reduction in the number of serious adverse events.