The cost-utility of intravenous magnesium sulfate for treating asthma exacerbations in children



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Pediatric Pulmonology, 1099-0496, 2020

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Introduction Although evidence supports the use of intravenous magnesium sulfate (MS) in asthma exacerbations, MS continues to be considered a second‐line drug for managing pediatric asthma exacerbations. This study aimed to evaluate the cost‐utility of MS in asthma exacerbations. Methods We used a decision tree model to estimate the cost‐utility of MS compared to treatment without MS (control group) in children with asthma exacerbations. Cost data were obtained from a retrospective study from tertiary centers in Rionegro, Colombia, while utilities were collected from the literature. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was carried out using the Monte Carlo technique with a simulation of a hypothetical cohort of 10 000 patients to generate expected cost utilities with 95% confidence intervals. We used a cost‐effectiveness acceptability curve to evaluate the uncertainty surrounding the cost‐utility of MS. Results The model showed that MS had a lower total cost than the control group (US $1149 vs US $1598 average cost per patient) and higher quality‐adjusted life years (0.60 vs 0.52 average per patient), showing dominance. The probability that MS provides a more cost‐effective use of resources compared with standard therapy exceeds 99% for all willingness‐to‐pay thresholds. Conclusion Intravenous MS was less expensive and more effective than treatment without intravenous MS in children with asthma exacerbations. Our study provides evidence that should be used by decision‐makers to improve clinical practice guidelines and should be replicated to validate its results in other middle‐income countries.

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Health care, Health economics, Public health