Background and objectives: Azithromycin, an approved single-dose therapy for cervical chlamydia infections, costs four times as much as doxycycline, the standard multidose theapy.
Goal of this study: This study examined whether azithromycin is cost effective for treating cervical chlamydia infections.
Study design: Two diagnostic strategies were compared: 1) laboratory confirmation of chlamydia, and 2) presumptive diagnosis from the perspective of the healthcare system and the publicly funded clinic.
Results: From the healthcare perspective, the cost per case of pelvic inflammatory disease prevented with azithromycin ranges from a savings of $3,502 for laboratory confirmation to a cost of $792 for presumptive diagnosis. From the publicly funded clinic perspective, the cost per case of pelvic inflammatory disease prevented ranges from $709 for lab-confirmed diagnosis to $3,969 for presumptive treatment.
Conclusion: For the healthcare system, azithromycin is a cost-effective alternative to doxycycline. However, the cost of azithromycin must decrease markedly for it to be less costly to the publicly funded clinic.