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Is Accelerated Partner Therapy (APT) a cost-effective alternative to routine patient referral partner notification in the UK? Preliminary cost-consequence analysis of an exploratory trial.

Health Economics Unit, School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Sexually transmitted infections (Impact Factor: 2.18). 09/2011; 88(1):16-20. DOI: 10.1136/sextrans-2011-050176
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To undertake a cost-consequence analysis to assess two new models of partner notification (PN), known as Accelerated Partner Therapy (APT Hotline and APT Pharmacy), as compared with routine patient referral PN, for sex partners of people with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and non-gonococcal urethritis.
Comparison of costs and outcomes alongside an exploratory trial involving two genitourinary medicine clinics and six community pharmacies. Index patients selected the PN method (APT Hotline, APT Pharmacy or routine PN) for their partners. Clinics and pharmacies recorded cost and resource use data including duration of consultation and uptake of treatment pack. Cost data were collected prospectively for two out of three interventions, and data were synthesised and compared in terms of effectiveness and costs.
Routine PN had the lowest average cost per partner treated (approximately £46) compared with either APT Hotline (approximately £54) or APT Pharmacy (approximately £53) strategies. The cost-consequence analysis revealed that APT strategies were more costly but also more effective at treating partners compared to routine PN.
The hotline strategy costs more than both the alternative PN strategies. If we accept that strategies which identify and treat partners the fastest are likely to be the most effective in reducing reinfection and onward transmission, then APT Hotline appears an effective PN strategy by treating the highest number of partners in the shortest duration. Whether the additional benefit is worth the additional cost cannot be determined in this preliminary analysis. These data will be useful for informing development of future randomised controlled trials of APT.

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