[en] Chondroitin sulphate ; economic analysis ; osteoarthritis ; quality of life
[en] Abstract Objectives: The first objective was to assess the effect of the chondroitin 4 and 6 sulphate (CS) on health-related quality of life using utility values in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) during a 24-month treatment course. The second objective was, using these data, to conduct economic analyses. Methods: Data from the STOPP study was used. This study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo (PL) -controlled trial of 2-year duration. In the STOPP study, authors assessed quality of life using the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). WOMAC scores were translated into Health Utility Index (HUI) scores using a specific formula. Incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated taking into account the cost of CS and its effect on HUI scores, compared to PL. Results: At baseline, the mean (SD) HUI scores were 0.59 (0.17), and 0.59 (0.18) for the PL and CS groups, respectively (p=0.31 between the two groups). The mean (SD) HUI scores changes from baseline to 6 months were 0.02 (0.02), and 0.05 (0.01) for the PL and CS groups, respectively (p=0.03). After 24 months of follow-up, HUI score increases by 0.04 (0.02) in the PL group and by 0.05 (0.02) in the CS group (p=0.37). Using the price bracket of CS in Europe, ICER assessment always resulted in a cost below euro30,000 per QALY gained, after 6, 12 and 24 months of treatment. Conclusion: CS treatment increases health utilities in patients with knee OA compared to PL over the first 6 months of treatment. Economic evaluation based on these data suggests that CS treatment could be considered as cost-effective in patients with knee OA up to a period of 24 months. A limitation in this study is the absence of direct utility assessment as well as the absence of effective treatment as comparator.