Cost-effectiveness analysis of a physician-implemented medication screening tool in older hospitalised patients in Ireland

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O'Brien, Gary L.
O'Mahony, Denis
Gillespie, Paddy
Mulcahy, Mark
Walshe, Valerie
O'Connor, Marie N.
O'Sullivan, David.
Gallagher, James
Byrne, Stephen
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Springer International Publishing AG
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Background: A recent randomised controlled trial conducted in an Irish University teaching hospital that evaluated a physician-implemented medication screening tool, demonstrated positive outcomes in terms of a reduction in incident adverse drug reactions. Objective: The present study objective was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of physicians applying this screening tool to older hospitalised patients compared with usual hospital care in the context of the earlier randomised controlled trial. Method: We used a cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a conventional outcome analysis in a cluster randomised controlled trial. Patients in the intervention arm (n = 360) received a multifactorial intervention consisting of medicines reconciliation, communication with patients’ senior medical team, and generation of a pharmaceutical care plan in addition to usual medical and pharmaceutical care. Control arm patients (n = 372) received usual medical and pharmaceutical care only. Incremental cost effectiveness was examined in terms of costs to the healthcare system and an outcome measure of adverse drug reactions during inpatient hospital stay. Uncertainty in the analysis was explored using a cost-effectiveness acceptability curve. Results: On average, the intervention arm was more costly but was also more effective. Compared with usual care (control), the intervention was associated with a non-statistically significant increase of €877 (95% confidence interval − €1807, €3561) in the mean healthcare cost, and a statistically significant decrease of − 0.164 (95% confidence interval − 0.257, − 0.070) in the mean number of adverse drug reaction events per patient. The associated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per adverse drug reaction averted was €5358. The probability of the intervention being cost effective at threshold values of €0, €5000 and €10,000 was 0.236, 0.455 and 0.680, respectively. Conclusion: Based on the evidence presented, this physician-led intervention is not likely to be cost effective compared with usual hospital care. To inform future healthcare policy decisions in this field, more economic analyses of structured medication reviews by other healthcare professionals and by computerised clinical decision support software need to be conducted.
Randomised controlled trial , Medication screening tool , Adverse drug reaction , Cost effectiveness , Older hospitalised patients
O’Brien, G.L., O’Mahony, D., Gillespie, P., Mulcahy, M., Walshe, V., O’Connor, M. N., O’Sullivan, D., Gallagher, J. and Byrne, S. (2018) ‘Cost-effectiveness analysis of a physician-implemented medication screening tool in older hospitalised patients in Ireland’, Drugs and Aging, 35, 751 (12pp). doi: 10.1007/s40266-018-0564-0
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