Purpose: The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) convened an international working party to develop a consensus cost-effectiveness model for treatment of Hepatitis B in Asia Pacific countries in March 2010. Methods: The working party consisted of expert hepatologists, virologists and epidemiologists from 11 representative countries in the Asia Pacific region. Meetings were conducted at the 20th APASL Annual Meeting in 2010 to determine consensus estimates for modeling and at the 21st and 22nd APASL meetings in 2011 and 2012, respectively to review and approve the models. Results: The consensus cost-effectiveness model used Singapore as base case analysis and was validated using actual data from the Singapore Cancer, Diseases and Death Registries. Simulation for Singapore, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Taiwan and Korea were performed. Antivirals with high resistance barriers like entecavir and tenofovir had the highest retail cost but were the most cost-effective therapy in developed countries such as Singapore, Taiwan and Korea while generic tenofovir was most cost effective in Thailand and Pakistan. The cost effectiveness of different treatment strategies varied significantly between countries and was affected by medication cost, economic affordability, access to liver transplantation and the prevailing health of the general population. Conclusion: Choosing treatment strategies for hepatitis B based on low retail drug cost can be misleading because more expensive drugs may be more cost effective when considering long-term health outcomes and costs. Cost-effectiveness data should be individualized to countries based on their unique socio-economic conditions. Governmental policies which subsidize more costly drugs that have lower risk of drug resistance can benefit more patients.
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