Cost-Effectiveness of Take-Home Naloxone for the Prevention of Overdose Fatalities among Heroin Users in the United Kingdom.


Langham, S; Wright, A; Kenworthy, J; Grieve, R; Dunlop, WCN; (2018) Cost-Effectiveness of Take-Home Naloxone for the Prevention of Overdose Fatalities among Heroin Users in the United Kingdom. Value in health, 21 (4). pp. 407-415. ISSN 1098-3015 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2017.07.014

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Abstract

Heroin overdose is a major cause of premature death. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is effective for the reversal of heroin overdose in emergency situations and can be used by nonmedical responders. Our aim was to assess the cost-effectiveness of distributing naloxone to adults at risk of heroin overdose for use by nonmedical responders compared with no naloxone distribution in a European healthcare setting (United Kingdom). A Markov model with an integrated decision tree was developed based on an existing model, using UK data where available. We evaluated an intramuscular naloxone distribution reaching 30% of heroin users. Costs and effects were evaluated over a lifetime and discounted at 3.5%. The results were assessed using deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. The model estimated that distribution of intramuscular naloxone, would decrease overdose deaths by around 6.6%. In a population of 200,000 heroin users this equates to the prevention of 2,500 premature deaths at an incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained of £899. The sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the results. Our evaluation suggests that the distribution of take-home naloxone decreased overdose deaths by around 6.6% and was cost-effective with an incremental cost per QALY gained well below a £20,000 willingness-to-pay threshold set by UK decision-makers. The model code has been made available to aid future research. Further study is warranted on the impact of different formulations of naloxone on cost-effectiveness and the impact take-home naloxone has on the wider society.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 29680097
Web of Science ID: 430442800008
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4647472

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