An economic evaluation of neonatal screening for inborn errors of metabolism using tandem mass spectrometry in Thailand

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2015, 10 (8)
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© 2015 Thiboonboon et al. Background: Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) are a rare group of genetic diseases which can lead to several serious long-term complications in newborns. In order to address these issues as early as possible, a process called tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) can be used as it allows for rapid and simultaneous detection of the diseases. This analysis was performed to determine whether newborn screening by MS/MS is cost-effective in Thailand. Method: A cost-utility analysis comprising a decision-tree and Markov model was used to estimate the cost in Thai baht (THB) and health outcomes in life-years (LYs) and quality-adjusted life year (QALYs) presented as an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The results were also adjusted to international dollars (I$) using purchasing power parities (PPP) (1 I$ = 17.79 THB for the year 2013). The comparisons were between 1) an expanded neonatal screening programme using MS/MS screening for six prioritised diseases: phenylketonuria (PKU); isovaleric acidemia (IVA); methylmalonic acidemia (MMA); propionic acidemia (PA); maple syrup urine disease (MSUD); and multiple carboxylase deficiency (MCD); and 2) the current practice that is existing PKU screening. A comparison of the outcome and cost of treatment before and after clinical presentations were also analysed to illustrate the potential benefit of early treatment for affected children. A budget impact analysis was conducted to illustrate the cost of implementing the programme for 10 years. Results: The ICER of neonatal screening using MS/MS amounted to 1,043,331 THB per QALY gained (58,647 I$ per QALY gained). The potential benefits of early detection compared with late detection yielded significant results for PKU, IVA, MSUD, and MCD patients. The budget impact analysis indicated that the implementation cost of the programme was expected at approximately 2,700 million THB (152 million I$) over 10 years. Conclusion: At the current ceiling threshold, neonatal screening using MS/MS in the Thai context is not cost-effective. However, the treatment of patients who were detected early for PKU, IVA, MSUD, and MCD, are considered favourable. The budget impact analysis suggests that the implementation of the programme will incur considerable expenses under limited resources. A long-term epidemiological study on the incidence of IEM in Thailand is strongly recommended to ascertain the magnitude of problem. Copyright:
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