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1.  Cost-Effectiveness of Dabigatran versus Genotype-Guided Management of Warfarin Therapy for Stroke Prevention in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39640.
Dabigatran is associated with lower rate of stroke comparing to warfarin when anticoagulation control is sub-optimal. Genotype-guided warfarin dosing and management may improve patient-time in target range (TTR) and therefore affect the cost-effectiveness of dabigatran compared with warfain. We examined the cost-effectiveness of dabigatran versus warfarin therapy with genotype-guided management in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methodology/Principal Findings
A Markov model was designed to compare life-long economic and treatment outcomes of dabigatran (110 mg and 150 mg twice daily), warfarin usual anticoagulation care (usual AC) with mean TTR 64%, and genotype-guided anticoagulation care (genotype-guided AC) in a hypothetical cohort of AF patients aged 65 years old with CHADS2 score 2. Model inputs were derived from literature. The genotype-guided AC was assumed to achieve TTR = 78.9%, adopting the reported TTR achieved by warfarin service with good anticoagulation control in literature. Outcome measure was incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained (ICER) from perspective of healthcare payers. In base-case analysis, dabigatran 150 mg gained higher QALYs than genotype-guided AC (10.065QALYs versus 9.554QALYs) at higher cost (USD92,684 versus USD85,627) with ICER = USD13,810. Dabigatran 110 mg and usual AC gained less QALYs but cost more than dabigatran 150 mg and genotype-guided AC, respectively. ICER of dabigatran 150 mg versus genotype-guided AC would be >USD50,000 (and genotype-guided AC would be most cost-effective) when TTR in genotype-guided AC was >77% and utility value of warfarin was the same or higher than that of dabigatran.
The likelihood of genotype-guided anticoagulation service to be accepted as cost-effective would increase if the quality of life on warfarin and dabigatran therapy are compatible and genotype-guided service achieves high TTR (>77%).
PMCID: PMC3382133  PMID: 22745801
2.  A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of “Test” versus “Treat” Patients Hospitalized with Suspected Influenza in Hong Kong 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33123.
Seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses may cause severe diseases and result in excess hospitalization and mortality in the older and younger adults, respectively. Early antiviral treatment may improve clinical outcomes. We examined potential outcomes and costs of test-guided versus empirical treatment in patients hospitalized for suspected influenza in Hong Kong.
We designed a decision tree to simulate potential outcomes of four management strategies in adults hospitalized for severe respiratory infection suspected of influenza: “immunofluorescence-assay” (IFA) or “polymerase-chain-reaction” (PCR)-guided oseltamivir treatment, “empirical treatment plus PCR” and “empirical treatment alone”. Model inputs were derived from literature. The average prevalence (11%) of influenza in 2010–2011 (58% being 2009 H1N1) among cases of respiratory infections was used in the base-case analysis. Primary outcome simulated was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) expected (ICER) from the Hong Kong healthcare providers' perspective.
In base-case analysis, “empirical treatment alone” was shown to be the most cost-effective strategy and dominated the other three options. Sensitivity analyses showed that “PCR-guided treatment” would dominate “empirical treatment alone” when the daily cost of oseltamivir exceeded USD18, or when influenza prevalence was <2.5% and the predominant circulating viruses were not 2009 H1N1. Using USD50,000 as the threshold of willingness-to-pay, “empirical treatment alone” and “PCR-guided treatment” were cost-effective 97% and 3% of time, respectively, in 10,000 Monte-Carlo simulations.
During influenza epidemics, empirical antiviral treatment appears to be a cost-effective strategy in managing patients hospitalized with severe respiratory infection suspected of influenza, from the perspective of healthcare providers in Hong Kong.
PMCID: PMC3315544  PMID: 22479363
3.  Public perception on the role of community pharmacists in self-medication and self-care in Hong Kong 
The choices for self-medication in Hong Kong are much diversified, including western and Chinese medicines and food supplements. This study was to examine Hong Kong public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding self-medication, self-care and the role of pharmacists in self-care.
A cross-sectional phone survey was conducted, inviting people aged 18 or older to complete a 37-item questionnaire that was developed based on the Thematic Household surveys in Hong Kong, findings of the health prorfessional focus group discussions on pharmacist-led patient self management and literature. Telephone numbers were randomly selected from residential phone directories. Trained interviewers invited eligible persons to participate using the "last birthday method". Associations of demographic characteristics with knowledge, attitudes and beliefs on self-medication, self-care and role of pharmacists, and spending on over-the-counter (OTC) products were analysed statistically.
A total of 1, 560 phone calls were successfully made and 1, 104 respondents completed the survey which indicated a response rate of 70.8%. 63.1% had adequate knowledge on using OTC products. Those who had no formal education/had attended primary education (OR = 3.19, 95%CI 1.78-5.72; p < 0.001), had attended secondary education (OR = 1.50, 95%CI 1.03-2.19; p = 0.035), and aged ≥60 years (OR = 1.82, 95% CI 1.02-3.26; p = 0.042) were more likely to have inadequate knowledge on self-medication. People with chronic disease also tended to spend more than HKD100 on western (OR = 3.58, 95%CI 1.58-8.09; p = 0.002) and Chinese OTC products (OR = 2.94, 95%CI 1.08-7.95; p = 0.034). 94.6% believed that patients with chronic illnesses should self-manage their diseases. 68% agreed that they would consult a pharmacist before using OTC product but only 45% agreed that pharmacists could play a leading role in self-care. Most common reasons against pharmacist consultation on self-medication and self-care were uncertainty over the role of pharmacists and low acceptance level of pharmacists.
The majority of respondents supported patients with chronic illness to self-manage their diseases but less than half agreed to use a pharmacist-led approach in self-care. The government should consider developing doctors-pharmacists partnership programs in the community, enhancing the role of pharmacists in primary care and providing education to patients to improve their awareness on the role of pharmacists in self-medication and self-care.
PMCID: PMC3252282  PMID: 22118309

Results 1-3 (3)