Are antivirals a cost-effective therapy during severe flu seasons?

A new study indicates that the antiviral drug oseltamivir can reduce influenza infections and prevent deaths in a cost-saving manner under most pandemic scenarios.

Investigators’ analyses of phase II clinical data and information from a previous influenza outbreak revealed that oseltamivir 75 mg relative to no treatment was effective and affordable under all scenarios. Oseltamivir 150 mg relative to 75 mg was not cost effective in low transmissibility scenarios but was cost saving in high transmissibility scenarios.

“We used influenza as the critical exemplar for us to test the concept that interdisciplinary pharmacometrics can be applied where the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, clinical, or epidemiological endpoints of interest can eventually be linked to health economic value” said Prof. Carl Kirkpatrick co-author of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study.

“This approach — which we have called ‘pharmacology to the payer’ — can be applied across all disease areas and should facilitate greater dialogue between industry, regulators, payers, and patients earlier in the drug development process,” added co-author Craig Rayner.