Dutch modelling finds PrEP economically viable in the long term
As bean counters around the wall hit the calculators in an effort to justify introducing PrEP as an economic gambit, the Dutch have found that the medication could pay for itself in the long run.
A mathematical modelling study in the Netherlands has found that daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) would be cost-effective even at current drug prices if it was targeted at HIV negative gay men at high risk of HIV infection.
In a base case where 10% of higher-risk gay men took it, current drug prices were used, and PrEP was taken every day, PrEP’s cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained would be €11,000 (about AUD $16,000).
Any cost under €20,000 is considered cost effective in this modelling.
Daily PrEP would actually be cost-saving (it would save more in terms of infections prevented than its provision would cost) if drug prices fell 70% or more.
Given all the factors taken into account – the number of men who would access PrEP, the length of time they were on it – the authors of the study declared:
“Although the short-term costs of PrEP provision might be high, PrEP could save HIV-related healthcare costs in the long run, especially when the price of PrEP is reduced.”