Cost-Outcome Description of PEG-IFN-α2b+RBV for Hepatitis C: Results Based on the Interferon Database

Biol Pharm Bull. 2017 May 1;40(5):594-597. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b16-00795. Epub 2017 Feb 15.


Economic evaluation of drugs is used in decision-making on medical care and public policy. Recently, real-world data (RWD) have been used in the analysis. In this study, we discuss the risk and benefits of using RWD for economic evaluation. We conducted a cost-outcome description with RWD from a nationwide registry providing information on hepatitis treatment in Japan and estimated the utility of the analysis. We evaluated the cost-outcome description of peginterferon plus ribavirin (PEG-IFN-α2b+RBV) treatment in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients. Simulations were based on a Markov model. The cohorts were set using data from the registry and we assumed a societal perspective for the calculation of costs. The dose and drug cost were chosen based on the Japanese Guidelines for the Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection or package inserts. Model details and parameters were as described in previous studies. The simulations were performed for a period of 10 years with no discount rate. We estimated 2.5 million JPY per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) in 48-week PEG-IFN-α2b+RBV treatment for a period of 10 years. The results of this study are in agreement with previous HCV treatment economic evaluation studies in Japan. We analyzed the statistics of the HCV-infected patients at each disease stage using the data in our registry and calculated the costs. The results of this study more closely reflect a real-world clinical situation compared to the widely used randomized clinical trial method, which estimates clinical trial results and scenarios.

Keywords: economic evaluation; hepatitis c virus; peginterferon; real-world data; registry; ribavirin.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Costs
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / economics
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interferon-alpha2b
  • Ribavirin