Background: In type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression may occur without detectable changes in urinary albumin excretion (UAE) rate. A new urinary peptide classifier (CKD273) has exhibited greater ability to detect CKD progression, however, its cost-effectiveness remains unknown. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of screening for CKD progression with the CKD273 classifier, as compared to UAE, in diabetic patients.
Methods: A decision-analytic Markov model was developed to estimate costs and health outcomes [including overall survival and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)] from a health system perspective for adopting a new annual screening strategy based on the CKD273 classifier as compared to annual UAE-based screening in a hypothetical cohort of T2DM patients. High-risk patients were defined as T2DM patients with at least one concomitant risk factor (i.e. patients with background genetic risk for developing the disease, obesity, hypertension and/or smoking history) for developing diabetic nephropathy secondary to cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related complications. Low-risk T2DM patients, were defined as those not having any of the aforementioned concomitant risk factors.
Results: Over the projected course of a patient's lifetime, in all T2DM patients annual screening with the CKD273 classifier was more costly, but also more effective, than annual screening with UAE. The incremental costs incurred with screening based on the CKD273 classifier were €3,053 per patient, while patients gained 0.13 QALYs. Hence, in all patients, annual screening with the CKD273 classifier was cost effective [incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) €23,903/QALY gained], notably below current government thresholds for funding such health care interventions. For patients at high risk of developing diabetic nephropathy secondary to CVD-related complications, screening based on the CKD273 classifier was cost-saving (i.e. dominant, being both more effective and less expensive than UAE-based screening). Finally, in low-risk patients, CKD273 classifier-based screening was not cost effective (ICER €73,140/QALY) given current government willingness-to-pay thresholds.
Conclusions: In diabetic patients, annual CKD273 classifier-based screening is more costly but also more effective in QALYs gained as compared to UAE. From a health provider perspective, the observed benefits are greatest when such screening is implemented in patients at high risk for diabetes-associated renal or cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.