University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (M.H.E., E.S.W., C.V.T., F.P., K.E.S.).
Direct-acting antiviral agents are now available to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
To examine whether it is more cost-effective to transplant HCV-infected or HCV-uninfected kidneys into HCV-infected patients.
Markov state-transition decision model.
MEDLINE searches and bibliographies from relevant English-language articles.
HCV-infected patients with ESRD receiving hemodialysis in the United States.
Health care system.
Transplant of an HCV-infected kidney followed by HCV treatment versus transplant of an HCV-uninfected kidney preceded by HCV treatment.
Effectiveness, measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and costs, measured in 2017 U.S. dollars.
RESULTS OF BASE-CASE ANALYSIS:
Transplant of an HCV-infected kidney followed by HCV treatment was more effective and less costly than transplant of an HCV-uninfected kidney preceded by HCV treatment, largely because of longer wait times for uninfected kidneys. A typical 57.8-year-old patient receiving hemodialysis would gain an average of 0.50 QALY at a lifetime cost savings of $41 591.
RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS:
Transplant of an HCV-infected kidney followed by HCV treatment continued to be preferred in sensitivity analyses of many model parameters. Transplant of an HCV-uninfected kidney preceded by HCV treatment was not preferred unless the additional wait time for an uninfected kidney was less than 161 days.
The study did not consider the benefit of decreased HCV transmission from treating HCV-infected patients.
Transplanting HCV-infected kidneys into HCV-infected patients increased quality-adjusted life expectancy and reduced costs compared with transplanting HCV-uninfected kidneys into HCV-infected patients.
PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE:
Merck Sharp & Dohme and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.