The cost-utility of intravenous magnesium sulfate for treating asthma exacerbations in children.
Buendia JA., Acuña-Cordero R., Rodriguez-Martinez CE.
INTRODUCTION: Although evidence supports the use of intravenous magnesium sulfate (MS) in asthma exacerbations, MS continues to be considered a second-line drug for managing pediatric asthma exacerbations. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-utility of MS in asthma exacerbations. METHODS: We used a decision tree model to estimate the cost-utility of MS compared to treatment without MS (control group) in children with asthma exacerbations. Cost data were obtained from a retrospective study from tertiary centers in Rionegro, Colombia, while utilities were collected from the literature. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was carried out using the Monte Carlo technique with a simulation of a hypothetical cohort of 10 000 patients to generate expected cost utilities with 95% confidence intervals. We used a cost-effectiveness acceptability curve to evaluate the uncertainty surrounding the cost-utility of MS. RESULTS: The model showed that MS had a lower total cost than the control group (US $1149 vs US $1598 average cost per patient) and higher quality-adjusted life years (0.60 vs 0.52 average per patient), showing dominance. The probability that MS provides a more cost-effective use of resources compared with standard therapy exceeds 99% for all willingness-to-pay thresholds. CONCLUSION: Intravenous MS was less expensive and more effective than treatment without intravenous MS in children with asthma exacerbations. Our study provides evidence that should be used by decision-makers to improve clinical practice guidelines and should be replicated to validate its results in other middle-income countries.