Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in solid organ transplant patients and is associated with large additional healthcare expenditures. An economic evaluation of valaciclovir CMV prophylaxis in a renal transplant population is reported. Methods. Medical resource use data were collected alongside a multicenter multinational randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of valaciclovir CMV prophylaxis in renal transplantation. Patients were stratified into donor seropositive/recipient seronegative (D+R-) and recipient seropositive (R+) groups. Patients were followed-up 6 months posttransplant. A cost-effectiveness analysis from the perspective of the French health care system was performed using the number of cases of CMV disease avoided at 6 months as the clinical endpoint. Results. Resource use was significantly increased among patients who developed CMV disease compared to those who did not develop disease. In the high risk D+R- group, valaciclovir prophylaxis was associated with an average of 5.5 fewer inpatient hospital days (P≤0.05) and with significantly lower use of other healthcare resources. In the R+ group, valaciclovir prophylaxis prevented cases of CMV disease at a marginally greater mean cost per patient compared with placebo. For D+R- patients valaciclovir prophylaxis was therefore an economically superior strategy, resulting in fewer cases of CMV disease and lower total mean healthcare expenditures. Conclusions. Valaciclovir CMV prophylaxis in renal transplantation is a more cost-effective therapy compared with placebo, in the high-risk D+R- patient population. For the R+ group, the incremental cost per case of CMV disease was modest.
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