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Within a smoking-cessation program, what impact does genetic information on lung cancer need to have to demonstrate cost-effectiveness?

DOI: 10.1186/1478-7547-8-18

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Abstract:

Two strategies were modelled for a hypothetical cohort of heavy smokers aged 50 years; individuals either received or did not receive a genetic test within the course of a usual smoking-cessation intervention comprising nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and counselling. A Markov model was constructed using evidence from published randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses for estimates on 12-month quit rates and long-term relapse rates. Epidemiological data were used for estimates on lung cancer risk stratified by time since quitting and smoking patterns. Extensive sensitivity analyses were used to explore parameter uncertainty.The discounted incremental cost per QALY was AU$34,687 (95% CI $12,483, $87,734) over 35 years. At a willingness-to-pay of AU$20,000 per QALY gained, the genetic testing strategy needs to produce a 12-month quit rate of at least 12.4% or a relapse rate 12% lower than NRT and counselling alone for it to be equally cost-effective. The likelihood that adding a genetic test to the usual smoking-cessation intervention is cost-effective was 20.6% however cost-effectiveness ratios were favourable in certain situations (e.g., applied to men only, a 60 year old cohort).The findings were sensitive to small changes in critical variables such as the 12-month quit rates and relapse rates. As such, the cost-effectiveness of the genetic testing smoking cessation program is uncertain. Further clinical research on smoking-cessation quit and relapse rates following genetic testing is needed to inform its cost-effectiveness.Smoking remains a substantial health problem in many countries and is the largest modifiable risk factor for several cancers and a host of chronic diseases. Between 1980 and 2004, smoking prevalence in the Australian population dropped from 40% to 21% [1] partly due to progressive tobacco control policies such as cigarette taxation, smoke-free workplaces and extensive public education campaigns. However, smokers remain a large proportio

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