Infectious Disease Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
There is concern over the development of de novo hepatitis B in patients receiving liver transplants from hepatitis B surface antigen negative, hepatitis B core antibody positive donors. Current practice is to place such patients on indefinite lamivudine prophylaxis; however, there is a small risk of breakthrough infection and newer antivirals for hepatitis B are available. The objective of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of lamivudine compared with the newer agents, tenofovir and entecavir, in the prophylaxis setting using a Markov model. Three strategies were examined which consisted of either lamivudine or entecavir monoprophylaxis with tenofovir add-on therapy after breakthrough or tenofovir monoprophylaxis with emtricitabine add-on therapy after breakthrough. In the base case scenario, lamivudine was the most cost-effective option at a threshold of $100 000 per quality-adjusted life-year and this remained robust despite parameter uncertainty. Tenofovir had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $3 540 194.77 while other strategies were superior to entecavir therapy. Until drug costs decrease, lamivudine remains the most cost-effective option for hepatitis B prophylaxis in the liver transplant setting.