Cost-Effectiveness of Juluca for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Treatment in Virologically Suppressed Adults in Taiwan [Editor's Choice]



Although the efficacy of traditional 3-drug regimens for the treatment of HIV is well established, tolerability and toxicity concerns remain. New 2-drug regimens such as Juluca (dolutegravir [DTG]/rilpivirine [RPV]) offer noninferior efficacy versus 3-drug regimens (SWORD-1 and SWORD-2 studies), while reducing cumulative drug exposure and potentially long-term toxicities and drug-drug interactions. Here, we assess the cost-effectiveness of DTG/RPV for the treatment of HIV-1 for virologically suppressed adults in Taiwan.


A hybrid decision tree and Markov cohort state transition model was used to evaluate the expected economic costs and clinical outcomes associated with DTG/RPV and comparators. Model health states were defined by viral load and CD4 cell count. Efficacy and safety data were informed from SWORD-1 and SWORD-2 studies and the literature. The risk of long-term toxicities (cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, and chronic kidney disease) were included. Current branded drug acquisition prices were included, and healthcare costs informed by a bespoke costing study using National Health Insurance Research Database data. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated and compared with a willingness-to-pay threshold of 2 times Taiwan’s gross domestic product (NT$1 550 000).


DTG/RPV was found to be a cost-saving regimen compared to 3 comparators (rilpivirine [RPV]/emtricitabine [FTC]/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF], dolutegravir [DTG]/abacavir [ABC]/lamivudine [3TC], and elvitegravir [EVG]/cobicistat [c]/emtricitabine [FTC]/tenofovir alafenamide [TAF]) and fell in the southwest quadrant of the cost-effectiveness plane where it is generating significant savings with a small decrement in lifetime quality-adjusted life-years (–0.005). It was, however, more expensive than efavirenz [EFV]/emtricitabine [FTC]/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF].


DTG/RPV is cost-saving compared to RPV/FTC/TDF, DTG/ABC/3TC, and EVG/c/FTC/TAF, and provides comparable efficacy with reduced cumulative drug exposure.


Sarah-Jane Anderson Chiung-Yuan Hsu Huang-Tz Ou Nai-Ying Ko Chun-Ting Yang Sara Lopes

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