BACKGROUND: The cost of topical treatments for actinic keratosis (AK) has never been evaluated with respect to the actual cancerization field treated and the corresponding lesion response rate. Traditionally, evaluation in AK has been done in the context of patient response rate alone. The current study aimed to develop an economic model assessing the cost of topical treatments for the management of AK in Italy.
METHODS: Data from Italian patients (n=100), with five or more mild/moderate lesions on the face and/or scalp was used. The efficacy of the topical treatments which are available for the treatment of AK in Italy was considered. The outcome of interest was lesion response rates at three months and was based on published literature. The cost of each treatment was estimated according to the approval status of the drug and the cancerization area that required treatment. The analysis was replicated for four other European countries.
RESULTS: The average costs of treatment with c-PDT, DL PDT, DHA, InMeb and IMQ were €364.2, €255.5, €848.7, €1039.1, and €628.3, respectively. Taking into account the number of lesions cleared per patient, the cancerization area treated and the number of visits required with each treatment, the total costs per lesion treated per patient were estimated at €37.9, €29, €264.7, €103.5, and €115.4, respectively. The analysis produced consistent results when it was replicated for other countries.
CONCLUSIONS: Daylight therapy with methyl aminolevulinate (DL PDT) is an effective treatment option for AK management with a favourable value for money profile.