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Tamiflu Cost-Effective During Severe Flu Pandemics


February 09, 2017

Recent research in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that Tamiflu (oseltamivir; Genentech) is cost-effective during severe flu seasons.

In order to study the economic impact of using Tamiflu during a simulated influenza pandemic, Carl Kirkpatrick, PhD, MPS, a professor of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences in the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University in Australia, and colleagues, developed a modular interdisciplinary platform.

“We used influenza as the critical exemplar for us to test the concept that interdisciplinary pharmacometrics can be applied where the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, clinical, or epidemiological endpoints of interest can eventually be linked to health economic value,” Dr Kirkpatrick said in a press release.

The researchers used a model that simulated a series of different pandemics, varying by the number of patients infected and the amount of Tamiflu usage/uptake. They then entered the number of patients infected into a health economic module to determine the overall cost implications of each scenario. The information modules were calibrated using phase II clinical data and population data from a previous, real-world influenza outbreak.

According to the study results, use of Tamiflu reduced the number of infected patients, increased the number of quality-adjusted life years, averted deaths, and reduced costs, when compared to no treatment at all. The researchers noted that these results remained consisted in all study scenarios.

“This approach—which we have called 'pharmacology to the payer—can be applied across all disease areas and should facilitate greater dialogue between industry, regulators, payers, and patients earlier in the drug development process,” Craig R Rayner, PharmD, of Monash University, said in a press release.

David Costill

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