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OBJECTIVES: Although the efficacy of the addition of ipratropium bromide (IB) to short-acting β2-agonists (SABAs) for treating children with moderate to severe asthma exacerbations has been demonstrated, evidence of its cost-effectiveness is scarce. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of treatment with a combination of SABAs and IB compared with SABAs alone for the treatment of children with moderate to severe asthma exacerbations. METHODS: To achieve the objectives of the study, a decision-analysis model was adapted. Effectiveness parameters were obtained from a systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis. Cost data were obtained from hospital bills and from the national manual of drug prices in Colombia. The study was carried out from the perspective of the national healthcare system in Colombia. The main outcome of the model was avoidance of hospital admission. RESULTS: In children with moderate to severe asthma exacerbations, the base-case analysis showed that compared to SABAs alone, treatment with a combination of SABAs and IB was associated with lower overall treatment costs (US$126.24 vs. US$170.69 mean cost per patient) and a higher probability of hospital admission avoided (0.7999 vs. 0.7100), thus leading to dominance. For children with severe asthma exacerbations, these values were US$132.99 versus US$170.69 and 0.7883 versus 0.7100, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In Colombia, when compared to therapy with SABAs alone, therapy with a combination of SABAs and IB for treating pediatric patients with moderate to severe asthma exacerbations involves a lower probability of hospital admission at lower treatment costs.

Original publication





Pediatr Pulmonol

Publication Date





3706 - 3713


acute asthma, children, cost-effectiveness, ipratropium, Administration, Inhalation, Asthma, Bronchodilator Agents, Child, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Drug Therapy, Combination, Hospitalization, Humans, Ipratropium