Kidneys from deceased donors who are hepatitis C virus (HCV) nucleic acid test positive are infrequently used for transplantation in HCV-negative patients due to concerns about disease transmission. With the development of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for HCV, there is now potential to use these kidneys in HCV-negative candidates. However, the high cost of DAAs poses a challenge to adoption of this strategy. We created a Markov model to examine the cost-effectiveness of using deceased donors infected with HCV for kidney transplantation in uninfected waitlist candidates. In the primary analysis, this strategy was cost saving and improved health outcomes compared to remaining on the waitlist for an additional 2 or more years to receive a HCV-negative transplant. The strategy was also cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $56 018 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) from the payer perspective, and $4647 per QALY from the societal perspective, compared to remaining on the waitlist for 1 additional year. The results were consistent in 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. We conclude that the use of kidneys from deceased donors with HCV infection is likely to lead to improved clinical outcomes at reduced cost for HCV-negative transplant candidates.
Keywords: business/management; donors and donation: donor-derived infections; economics; health services and outcomes research; infection and infectious agents - viral: hepatitis C; infectious disease; kidney transplantation/nephrology.
© 2018 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.