, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 112-123

Using competence network collaboration and decision-analytic modeling to assess the cost-effectiveness of interferon α-2b plus ribavirin as initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C in Germany

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The objective of this study was to translate and apply a decision-analytic model for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) to the German health care context using competence network collaboration. The German Hepatitis C Model (GEHMO) competence network used a systematic multistep approach to identify and transfer a high quality Markov model for CHC to the German health care context. GEHMO was used to project lifetime clinical and economic outcomes and to determine the cost-effectiveness of initial antiviral therapy with interferon α-2b plus ribavirin from a societal perspective. In 40-year-old patients combination therapy for 24 and 48 weeks increased life expectancy by 1.6 and 2.3 years, respectively, compared with interferon alone for 48 weeks. The discounted incremental cost-utility ratios (ICUR) for combination therapy were €5,500 per quality-adjusted life-year gained (QALY) for 24 weeks and €6,800/QALY for 48 weeks of treatment. ICUR was €9,800/QALY for moving from 24 to 48 weeks of treatment. Combination therapy remained cost-effective in sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, combination therapy with interferon α-2b and ribavirin is effective and cost-effective compared with other well-accepted medical treatments. Competence network collaboration and decision modeling provide a useful and efficient approach to combine evidence from international studies with country-specific parameters.