Incorporating adherence in cost-effectiveness analyses of asthma: a systematic review

Aims: Non-adherence is associated with poor clinical outcomes among patients with asthma. While cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is increasingly used to inform value assessment of the interventions, most do not take into account adherence in the analyses. This study aims to: (1) Understand the extent of studies considering adherence as part of the economic analyses, and (2) summarize the methods of incorporating adherence in the economic models.

Materials and methods: A literature search was performed from the inception to February 2018 using four databases: PubMed, EMBASE, NHS EED, and the Tufts CEA registry. Decision model-based CEA of asthma were identified. Outcomes of interest were the number of studies incorporating adherence in the economic models, and the incorporating methods. All data were extracted using a standardized data collection form.

Results: From 1,587 articles, 23 studies were decision model-based CEA of asthma, of which four CEA (17.4%) incorporated adherence in the analyses. Only the method of incorporating adherence by adjusting treatment effectiveness according to adherence levels was demonstrated in this review. Two approaches were used to derive the associations between adherence and effectiveness. The first approach was to apply a mathematical formula, developed by an expert panel, and the second was to extrapolate the associations from previous published studies. The adherence-adjusted effectiveness was then incorporated in the economic models.

Conclusions: A very low number of CEA of asthma incorporated adherence in the analyses. All the CEA adjusted treatment effectiveness according to adherence levels, applied to the economic models.