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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The cost-effectiveness of sildenafil.

BACKGROUND: Coverage of sildenafil by health insurance plans is a contentious issue. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sildenafil treatment for erectile dysfunction. DESIGN: A Markov decision model to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of sildenafil compared with no drug therapy. DATA SOURCES: Values for the efficacy and safety of sildenafil and quality-of-life utilities were obtained from the published medical literature. Base-case values were chosen to bias against sildenafil use. TARGET POPULATION: Men 60 years of age with erectile dysfunction. TIME HORIZON: Lifetime. PERSPECTIVE: Societal and third-party payer. INTERVENTION: Sildenafil or no treatment in identical hypothetical cohorts. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. RESULTS OF BASE-CASE ANALYSIS: The cost per QALY gained for sildenafil treatment compared with no therapy was $11,290 from the societal perspective and $11,230 from the third-party payer perspective. RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS: From the societal perspective, the cost per QALY gained associated with sildenafil was less than $50,000 if treatment-related morbidity was less than 0.8% per year, mortality was less than 0.55% per year, treatment was successful in more than 40.2% of patients, or sildenafil cost less than $244 per month. The results were sensitive to variation of erectile dysfunction utilities, but cost per QALY gained was less than $50,000 if successful treatment increased utility values by 0.05 or more on a scale of 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health). CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis biased against use of sildenafil, the cost-effectiveness of sildenafil treatment compared favorably with that of accepted therapies for other medical conditions.[1]


  1. The cost-effectiveness of sildenafil. Smith, K.J., Roberts, M.S. Ann. Intern. Med. (2000) [Pubmed]
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